84% of consumers to shop before Black Friday

Holiday shoppers are expected to spend more and shop earlier, according to a new report from Brand Keys.

Some 21 percent of shoppers said they had begun holiday shopping before October, and another 22 percent will start this month. A whopping 41 percent plan to start shopping in November before Black Friday, according to Brand Keys 21st annual "National Holiday Shopping Survey" (conducted Sept. 25 through Oct. 10).

In all, 84 percent of consumers plan to shop before Black Friday and just 16 percent said they would put off shopping until December.

Only 16 percent of consumers—9 percent fewer than 2014 and 19 percent fewer than 2013—indicated they were going to wait until Black Friday to start holiday shopping. Approximately 4 percent indicated they would try to support local businesses on Small Business Saturday, a growing event held the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

When it comes to where they'll shop, consumers still prefer brick-and-mortar stores. Department stores stand to gain back some market share, as 85 percent plan to visit a traditional department store, up 7 percent from last year, according to the survey. Specialty and apparel stores will gain 5 percent from 2014, with 45 percent of shoppers planning a visit.

Roughly 90 percent of shoppers will frequent a discount department store in 2015, a decrease of 6 percent from last year.

The shift in the holiday shopping paradigm has been a long time coming, according to Robert Passikoff, founder and president of Brand Keys. "We saw dramatic shifts to when consumers were starting to holiday shop half a decade ago. Some of that was due to retailers—fearing the loss of any sale to a competitor—running ads, deals and price promotions earlier and earlier," he said. "But savvy consumers, more market-adept and armed with more mobile devices, have shifted spending patterns for the holidays."

Still, Black Friday isn't going away and predictions vary by source. ShopperTrak expects Black Friday to perform better than in 2014 and regain its title for generating the most sales and traffic of the year.

For more:
- See the Brand Keys press release

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