Fewer people will camp out all night outside the nation’s stores before Black Friday in hopes of snatching up the season’s hot gifts as soon as the doors are flung open. And just as the Super Bowl of the holiday shopping season is losing some of its luster, more consumers will use their smart phones and tablet computers to hunt down the best holiday deals, according to Accenture’s holiday shopping survey.
In fact, the turnout for Black Friday this holiday season could be the lowest in three years. That’s because more shoppers will delay purchases until after Black Friday, holding out for steeper price mark-downs. The expectation of even better sales down the road is the reason given by 57% of consumers who plan to shop late in the season, while 35% of procrastinator’s said they’ll postpone holiday shopping to allow themselves more time to save for their purchases.
News just in about shoppers this holiday season is that people will be looking for a ‘deal’ and retailers will have to ‘compete’ for their business. A week before Halloween and two full months before Christmas, stores are desperately trying to outdo each other in hopes of drawing in customers worn down by the economy.
Wal-Mart, the biggest store in the nation, joined the price wars Monday by announcing that it would give gift cards to shoppers if they buy something there and find it somewhere else cheaper.
Staples and Bed Bath & Beyond have already said they will match the lowest prices of Amazon.com and other big Internet retailers. Sears is going a step further, offering to beat a competitor’s best price by 10 percent.
Tell us: have you already started planning your Black Friday or is it not even on your radar yet?