Up to 128 million people will shop this Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, according to a National Retail Federation survey. About 49 million people will definitely hit the stores while another 79 million are waiting to see the weekend deals before making any decisions.
The numbers are down slightly from the 135 million people who said they would or may shop over Black Friday weekend last year, according to the survey conducted for the NRF by BIGresearch.
For the first time since March 2005, the average price of self-serve, unleaded gasoline is $1.91, leaving shoppers with a little extra padding in their wallets, NRF said. While consumers are still expected to pull back in their holiday purchases, pent up demand from consumers who have been waiting all year long for great deals could also bode well for some retailers.
“Retailers realize that low prices will get consumers into stores this holiday season, and this could be the most heavily promotional Black Friday in history,” said Tracy Mullin, NRF President and chief executive officer. “Shoppers who held off buying a DVD player or winter coat over the last few months will find that prices may literally be too good to pass up.”