Economists' Outlook

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Black Friday: A Holiday in Itself to Some Shoppers

Black Friday, for some shoppers, is a holiday in itself. Deals are scouted out in advance, with a schedule drawn up of where to shop based on store openings. Vehicles are arranged strategically, in order to hold on to the merchandise, and child care is taken care of. It can start on Thanksgiving itself, in the wee hours of the morning on Friday, or on Small Business Saturday. For some it's an annual ritual.

In 2013, 92 million shoppers took part in this annual ritual - a rise of three percent from 2012. The National Retail Federation expects that over the holiday weekend (Thursday through Sunday) 140.1 million shoppers will venture out to stores and 95.5 million will shop on Black Friday itself.

When home buyers purchase a home, location matters, with convenience to shopping important for 31 percent of recent home buyers (according to data from the 2014 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers). By generations, convenience to shopping when buying a home is most important to Older Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation. Interestingly, these age groups are the least likely to go shopping Thanksgiving weekend, based on the report from the National Retail Federation. Perhaps their proximity to shopping year-round means they do not see a need to go during the hectic holiday weekend. Shoppers aged 18 to 24 are the most likely to report planning to shop on Thanksgiving weekend.

For more information about this research, check out the 2014 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers at http://www.realtor.org/reports/highlights-from-the-2014-profile-of-home-buyers-and-sellers or the National Retail Federation report at https://nrf.com/sites/default/files/Thanksgiving%20Wknd%20Preview%202014_1.pdf.

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