Black Friday is just around the corner, and retailers and consumers are more confident about spending than previous years, marketing professor Dave Brennan said.
In October, three St. Thomas professors from the Opus College of Business conducted an annual holiday spending survey designed to measure how much Twin Cities shoppers think they will spend for holiday gifts, what they will spend it on, and where they will spend it.
“A lot of people who have jobs are more comfortable with spending, and greater spending is coming from people with higher incomes,” Brennan said.
Twin Cities shoppers plan on spending $680 more per household than last year, an increase from the $637 consumers planned to spend in 2009, according to the survey. This marks the first year since 2006 that shoppers predicted they would spend more rather than less.
“There is an incredible amount of hype this year, and it has already begun mostly because of the Internet shopping and retailers offering free delivery,” Brennan said. “This is when the Internet battle begins.”
Shoppers also said they would spend more money on gift certificates and books, instead of clothes and video games. Brennan said gift certificates are popular because of their flexibility, and the ranking of books shows the increase in popularity of e-books among consumers.
Economics professor Agapitos Papagapitos said retailers are seeing signs that consumers may be willing to spend a bit more.
“Retailers are hopeful this year for a turnaround,” Papagapitos said. “They base this off a consumer confidence survey, which asks questions about how they feel about their prospects, job and money security, basically a bunch of things summed up.”
Students’ thoughts on Black Friday
Some students don’t partake in the Black Friday chaos and spending. Freshman Emma Rudd plans on sleeping in this year, something she doesn’t get to do often while at school.
“My family usually looks at the ads Wednesday, but there aren’t ever good enough sales,” Rudd said. “I never need anything and there is never anything worth buying.”
Junior Tori Bauer also plans on sleeping in Friday morning and waking up to eat Thanksgiving leftovers. She said she went shopping last year with her mom to find deals on electronics, but in the end it wasn’t worth the hassle of waiting in lines.
Freshman Mallory Burnham won’t be shopping on Black Friday either, but instead will be working at Caribou Coffee serving all the early shoppers.
“I think they should just cancel Black Friday,” Burnham said. “I mean, I like the idea, but I don’t like the idea of having to work during it. I would much rather go shopping.”
For the fourth year in a row, sophomore Michael Thiem plans on meeting with a group of friends Thursday night and pulling an all-nighter after going out to eat.
“It’s just a tradition to go out and have fun,” Thiem said.
He plans on going to stores such as JCPenny, Target, Best Buy and Macy’s at 4 a.m, and he plans on spending up to $300.
Freshman Rebecca Hughes plans on going shopping with her mom. She has gone shopping with her for the last five years at 5 a.m. in search of good deals on clothes and “Santa gifts”.
“I don’t usually buy a ton because we’re pretty much just browsing,” Hughes said. “It’s just fun to go out.”
Ashley Stewart can be reached at email@example.com.