HPU Poll: North Carolinians Plan to Avoid Shopping on Thanksgiving and Black Friday

HIGH POINT, N.C., Nov. 20, 2017 – The High Point University Poll has found that 75 percent of North Carolinians do not plan to shop on the Friday after Thanksgiving, known as Black Friday. An even higher number of respondents, 77 percent, will be staying out of the stores on Thanksgiving Day as well.

When asked their opinion about businesses that require their employees to work on Thanksgiving Day, 47 percent of respondents said they were less likely to shop at businesses that mandate the holiday for employees.

“Some employees may not like being asked to work around Black Friday, but for those offered overtime or 1.5 times their pay may prefer to work to supplement their own holiday shopping budget,” says Dr. Daniel Hall, chair and associate professor in HPU’s economics department. “Those extra hours will not be available if Black Friday sales are expected to be weak. Fewer stores will have extended shopping hours.”

When North Carolinians do shop for the holidays, they are split as to whether they plan to do most of their shopping at brick and mortar stores (41 percent) versus online (37 percent). An additional 16 percent of respondents say they will do both with equal frequency. The proportion of shoppers going online may be increasing as only about one quarter (27 percent) said they would do most of their shopping online, according to the HPU Poll in 2015.

Fifty-four percent say they’ll spend the same amount of money on the holidays this year compared to last year. About one-quarter, 24 percent, of respondents say they will spend more than last year. When asked how much they plan to spend, the poll found that on average, $1,088 will be spent on gifts, food, decorations and other items related to the holidays.

“While Black Friday sales are expected to fall overall, pre-holiday sales might remain stable from increases in online Cyber Monday sales,” said Hall. “Brick and mortar stores will have to offer better deals to attract price sensitive customers away from their laptops to bring their families or leave them behind to shop in stores during Thanksgiving break.”

“The majority of North Carolinians surveyed will spend about the same this holiday season as last year on food, gifts, decorations and other holiday items,” says Brian McDonald, associate director of the HPU Poll and adjunct professor. “We may be seeing a change where North Carolinians are spending their holiday cash. The HPU Poll has tracked holiday spending over the years, and more survey respondents indicated doing their holiday shopping online this year than in years past.”

 

All adults – Holiday Shopping (November 2017)

As you may know, the Friday after Thanksgiving is one of the biggest shopping days of the year. Looking ahead, do you personally plan on shopping on the Friday after Thanksgiving, or not?

Yes – 22 percent

No – 75 percent

Don’t know – 3 percent

(All adult (North Carolina residents) sample surveyed November 10-16, n = 469 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.5 percent)

 

Do you plan to do most of your holiday shopping in bricks-and-mortar stores or online this year?

Bricks and mortar stores – 41 percent

Online – 37 percent

Both equally – 16 percent

Don’t know/refused – 7 percent

(All adult (North Carolina residents) sample surveyed November 10-16, n = 469 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.5 percent)

 

Do you plan to shop in any stores that will open on Thanksgiving Day?

Yes – 18 percent

No – 77 percent

Don’t know/refused – 6 percent

(All adult (North Carolina residents) sample surveyed November 10-16, n = 469 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.5 percent)

 

Some businesses do not require employees to work on the Thanksgiving Holiday, but others do require their employees to work on Thanksgiving. Does this policy of requiring that employees work on Thanksgiving make you more or less likely to shop at these stores?

More likely – 8 percent

Less likely – 47 percent

Will not change shopping one way or the other – 40 percent

Don’t know/refused – 5 percent

(All adult (North Carolina residents) sample surveyed November 10-16, n = 469 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.5 percent)

 

Thinking ahead to the holiday season, how much do you think that you will spend this year on gifts, food, decorations and other items related to your celebration of the holidays?

Mean (average): $1,088*

*Calculated based on n=413 numeric responses.

 

Do you think that you will spend more, less or about the same as last year on gifts, food, decorations and other items related to your celebration of the holidays?

More – 24 percent

Less – 21 percent

About the same – 54 percent

Don’t know/refused – 1 percent

(All adult (North Carolina residents) sample surveyed November 10-16, n = 469 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.5 percent)

 

The most recent HPU Poll was fielded by live interviewers at the High Point University Survey Research Center calling on Nov. 10-16, 2017. The responses from a sample of all North Carolina counties came from 469 adults with landline or cellular telephones. The Survey Research Center contracted with Survey Sampling International to acquire this sample. The survey has an estimated margin of sampling error of approximately 4.5 percentage points for all adult respondents. The data is weighted toward population estimates for cellular and landline telephone use, age, gender, education and race. In addition to sampling error, factors such as question wording and other methodological choices in conducting survey research can introduce additional error into the findings of opinion polls. Details from this survey are available at http://www.highpoint.edu/src/files/2017/11/55memoA.pdf.

Further results and methodological details from the most recent survey and past studies can be found at the Survey Research Center website at http://www.highpoint.edu/src/. The materials online include past press releases as well as memos summarizing the findings (including approval ratings) for each poll since 2010.

The HPU Poll reports methodological details in accordance with the standards set out by AAPOR’s Transparency Initiative, and the HPU Survey Research Center is a Charter Member of the Initiative. For more information, see http://transparency.aapor.org/index.php/transparency.

You can follow the HPU Poll on Twitter at https://twitter.com/HPUSurveyCenter. Dr. Martin Kifer, chair and associate professor of political science, serves as the director of the HPU Poll, and Brian McDonald serves as the associate director of the HPU Poll.

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