Washington - Some 134 million consumers are expected to shop for Black Friday bargains this weekend, up from 128 million last year, a new survey shows.
According to the poll, conducted Nov. 3-10 by BIGresearch on behalf of the National Retail Federation (NRF), 57 million people say they will definitely hit the stores this weekend, with another 77 million waiting in the wings to see what retailers are planning before heading out the door.
"While consumers are still expected to remain cautious with their holiday spending, the anticipation of Black Friday deals seems to be coaxing shoppers out of hibernation," said Pamela Goodfellow, a senior analyst, at BIGresearch.
According to the survey, discount stores will be the biggest attraction for consumers this weekend, with 66.3 percent planning on heading to their favorite big-box store. In addition, four out of 10 (41 percent) will shop at electronics stores, while more than one-quarter (27.6 percent) will shop online.
Among those planning to brave the elements, one out of 10 shoppers (10.3 percent) will get to stores between midnight and 3:00 a.m.; more than one-quarter (28.8 percent) will check out the early-bird specials and head out between 4:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m.; and 28.2 percent plan to hit the bricks between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.
More than 18 percent of the midnight-to-3:00 a.m. crew will be comprised of 18- to 34-year-olds, the survey showed.
Despite this year's relatively tepid Black Friday promotions, NRF president/CEO Tracy Mullin believed that "retailers still have a few tricks up their sleeves to excite Black Friday shoppers. With retailers fully aware that shoppers are looking for incredible deals, Americans can expect huge sales on popular items like toys, electronics and apparel."
About 8,700 consumers participated in the poll.