Will Early Deals Deflate Black Friday Online Spending?

Will Early Deals Deflate Black Friday Online Spending?

Today is Black Friday – the notorious day of shopping sales and major discounts. Each year, on the Friday after Thanksgiving, this day is supposed to mark the beginning of the holiday shopping season frenzy. And, while many still wait in lines and brave the crowds, more and more are finding comfort in shopping from home via their laptop, smartphone or tablet.

No longer reserved just for Cyber Monday, online shopping has skyrocketed over the past few years on Black Friday. In fact, online spending jumped 11 percent from 2008 to 2009, another 9 percent from 2009 to 2010, and a whopping 26 percent from 2010 to 2011. But, as we await the 2012 tallies, I have to wonder if online spending today won’t see as big of a spike as the estimates predict.

This year, major stores have started their Black Friday mega sales early, some opening their doors on Thursday night and some even earlier than that. Both in-store and online deals have largely been available all week. Will these premature sales deflate this year’s Black Friday spending numbers?

Perhaps, but retailers have good reason to pull out all the stops to draw in shoppers, as many can make 40 percent of their annual revenues in just November and December. And, as many consumers still battle tough economic times, unemployment or devastation following Hurricane Irene, ‘all the stops’ may still not be enough. Yet, estimates remain high for this year’s online spending tally on Black Friday, so perhaps the lure of a good deal will win out.

What about you – will you choose to brave the crowds on Black Friday or shop online from the comfort of your own home? Or put it off altogether, waiting for even better deals later in the year?

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