More shoppers will brave Black Friday crowds

Filed under: Daily News,Retail | Tags:, ,

More than 152 million people plan to shop Black Friday weekend, an increase from last year’s total of 138 million people.

According to a survey by the National Retail Federation, 74 million people say they will definitely hit stores, while another 77 million are waiting to see if the bargains are worth braving the colds and the crowds.

“Though many retailers are already touting select Black Friday ads, there’s no doubt we’ll all be blown away by what retailers still have in their bag of tricks for shoppers,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “We fully expect to see excited shoppers as early as midnight at stores around the country, as many holiday shoppers would rather stay up all night to take advantage of retailers’ Black Friday deals rather than set their alarm to wake up the next morning.”

For the first time, NRF asked shoppers how they plan to keep track of retailers’ holiday sales and promotions announcements. Half (50.5 percent) will keep up with advertising circulars throughout the holiday season and nearly one-third (31.7 percent)said they will tune in to watch retailers’ holiday commercials. Additionally, nearly one-quarter (23.1 percent) will seek out coupon websites like RetailMeNot.com and FatWallet.com, and 32.3 percent will specifically keep track of the email coupons they receive from retailers.

Social media will play a big role in how shoppers follow company sales announcements this holiday season. From Facebook to Twitter and even blogs, ‘social’ retailers may be rewarded this season in terms of additional holiday sales.

The survey found 17.3 percent will monitor retailers’ Facebook pages and 11.3 percent will check out group buying sites like Groupon and LivingSocial. Of those who own tablet devices and who plan to shop for or research holiday items this year, one in five (21.3 percent) will seek out group buying sites and 31.2 percent will check out retailers’ Facebook pages.