This year Black Friday falls on November 24, 2017. As the biggest shopping day in America, it’s sure to cause a rush with heavy discounts and one-off deals. In fact, Americans plan to spend $59.57 billion on Black Friday and Cyber Monday purchases this year alone.
How long do we hold off buying?
With so many discounts just around the corner, it’s common to hold off spending in the lead-up to massive sales. An estimated 117 million American adults (47.8%) have deferred dropping dollars on clothing, electronics, major appliances and furniture in anticipation for the release of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. Better safe than sorry, right?
Of those hanging out to see the bargains, a one- to two-month wait is the most common (14.7%), followed by a few weeks (13.8%), three to six months (9.8%) and a patient seven to eleven months (3.7%). Some 5.9% of us are willing to wait an entire year!
Census Bureau monthly retail trade stats
- Total retail sales last November was $416.1 billion, that’s a 5.0% increase from November 2015 ($396.2 billion).
- November total retail sales have grown by $74.3 billion compared to a decade ago ($341.8 billion in November 2007 to $416.1 billion in November 2016).
- Average growth in retail sales for November each year since 2010 (after the financial crisis) is 4.6%.
- Projected total retail sales for November this year is estimated to be $435.3 billion, according to finder.com.
- Americans are expected to spend about $60 billion across the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend, that’s 13.7% of the total November forecasted sales for the month.
How many of us are planning on purchasing this year?
While 117 million of us are eagerly waiting to see what’s on offer come November 24, an estimate of more than 108 million American adults (44.1%) are confident that they’ll be parting with their cash over Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales this year. But how does that translate by demographic?
A higher proportion of women intend to spend money on Black Friday sales this year (46.5%) compared with men (41.6%).
|Gender||Plans to spend money||Doesn’t plan to spend money|
Predictably, the younger you are, the more likely you’re going to splurge this Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This year, 61.9% of millennials plan to spend money, followed by 49.5% of Gen Xers and 27.0% of baby boomers.
Of qualifying states, Georgia came in first of those planning to spend (52.9%), followed by Wisconsin (51.2%) and Illinois (50.7%).
Interestingly, those with an annual household income of $50,000 to $75,000 intend to spend the most on upcoming sales compared with any other income bracket, while those earning between $150,000 and $300,000 top the list for least likely to spend.
Not surprisingly, singles plan on treating themselves the most (51.6%), followed by those married or in a domestic partnership (43.9%), those separated (41.2%), divorcees (33.5%) and widows (26.9%).
|Marital status||Plans to spend money||Doesn’t plan to spend money|
|Married or domestic partnership||56.1%||43.9%|
|Single, never married||48.4%||51.6%|
How much will we spend?
On average, Americans plan to spend $550 each on Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales this year — totaling a whopping $59.57 billion!
Are people getting the best value for their money by spending during sale time?
An estimate of 43.5% of people have purchased something on sale that they later regretted. The average amount spent per item was $431.
Type of sale purchases
- The type of items that people are most likely to purchase on sale and later regret are technology/electronics (30.2%), which is followed by clothing and accessories at 23.4% and household items at 14.7%.
- Other categories include food/drink at 6.5%, shoes at 5.1%, music at 4.4%, cosmetics and fragrances at 4.3% and literature at 2.2%.
- The average spend per sale item on technology/electronics was $285, clothing and accessories were $87 and household items was $244.
Even though females (44.3%) were more likely to purchase items on sale that they later regretted than males (42.7%), males were more likely to spend more per item ($526) than females ($343).
Millennials lead the generations in purchasing sale items they later regret. Over 1 in 2 (51.3%) Millennials, 45.9% of Gen X and 36.0% of Baby Boomers have made sale purchases they regret.
Although when it comes to the amount spent, Millennials appear to be the most conservative generation. Millennials spent an average of $236 per sale item they regret. Baby Boomers spent $413 and Gen X spent $585.
When it comes to household income, generally those with lower income are less likely to purchase sale items they regret and when they do, are more likely to spend less per item compared to those with higher income.
|Household income||Likelihood of sales purchase regret||Amount spent per purchase|
|$0 to $25,000||39.8%||$339|
|$25,000 to $50,000||42.1%||$303|
|$50,000 to $75,000||47.4%||$326|
|$75,000 to $100,000||48.8%||$568|
|$100,000 to $150,000||44.8%||$520|
The psychology of sales
An estimate of 65.2% of people have purchased an item on sale that they wouldn’t have purchased if it wasn’t on sale. The average amount spent per item was $641.
As with sale regrets, females (68.2%) have a higher likelihood of purchasing items on sale that they wouldn’t have purchased if they weren’t on sale. Males, in comparison, sit at 62.0%.
Females spent an average of $412 on such items and males spent an average of $903.
Once again, Millennials are more likely to purchase an item on sale that they wouldn’t have purchased if it wasn’t on sale, but spend less per item. 3 in 4 (76.0%) Millennials, 65.7% of Gen X and 57.5% of Baby Boomers have made such purchases.
Millennials spent an average of $499, Baby Boomers spent $677 and Gen X spent $716 per item.
- We calculated these figures from a survey of 2,000 American adults commissioned by finder.com and conducted by global research provider Pureprofile in October 2017.
- We included only states with 40+ respondents — an accurate sample size — in this analysis.
- Monthly retail trade stats were calculated through Census Bureau’s Month Retail Trade Report.
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