Yonkers, N.Y. - Consumer Electronics is neck-and-neck with apparel as the most sought-after purchase on Black Friday weekend, a new survey by Consumer Reports shows.
According to the poll of 1,001 adults conducted Nov. 5-8, 70 percent of those planning to shop over Thanksgiving weekend intend to purchase electronics, while 71 percent have apparel on their shopping lists. (The margin of error is +/- 3.2 percentage points, Consumer Reports said.)
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Of those shopping for CE, 46 percent are looking for video game titles and accessories; 22 percent want to purchase MP3 players or iPods; 21 percent are seeking a video game system; 20 percent will be looking for a laptop or netbook; and 13 percent plan to purchase a flat-panel TV next weekend.
More than three-quarters of the CE shoppers will be buying electronics as gifts, while more than half (55 percent) will also be purchasing a new CE device for themselves.
Still, the majority of consumers will be avoiding the malls next weekend. Only 28 percent of those surveyed said they will actually visit retail stores on Black Friday, and 29 percent said they would do so on that Saturday or Sunday. The survey also showed that more than half (53 percent) expect the deals to be just as good in stores as online this year.
Despite this year's surfeit off pre-holiday promotions, the number of adults who start their Christmas shopping by early November is trending downward, decreasing slightly each year from 45 percent in 2006 to 36 percent as of Nov. 8.
Indeed, while more than one out of five adults plan to buy a flat-panel TV either during or after the holiday season, the majority said they will put off their purchase until after the festivities.
Of those considering buying a flat-panel TV, more than half (57 percent) are looking at screen sizes of 40 inches or larger, which is up from 47 percent last year. Men tend to prefer larger panels, with 68 percent likely to buy a 40-inch or larger set, compared with 46 percent of women.
Consumers' reasons for purchasing a new flat-panel TV include:
· better picture quality or HD picture (77 percent);
· getting a TV that takes up less space (71 percent);
· replacing an older TV that is not a flat panel (70 percent);
· adding a flat-panel TV to another room (36 percent);
· replacing an older flat-panel TV (20 percent); and
· having one for a major sporting event like the Super Bowl (31 percent).