RALEIGH, NC/ NEW YORK, Nov 25 (Reuters) – The early morning days of Black Friday shopping are behind most consumers, but for Las Vegas’ Lex Uribe, the biggest shopping holiday of the year is family bonding.
After weeks of skipping early Black Friday deals from Walmart, Target and Amazon, Uribe is looking for a Nintendo Switch and video games for her daughter, Tupperware for her kitchen and a vacuum cleaner.
Checking things off the holiday list is “just cheaper” on Black Friday, plus “it’s our favorite day of the year, so we just wait,” Uribe said.
Uribe joins millions of shoppers who waited for what they hope could be the deepest discounts of the holiday season on Black Friday, even as retailers pressured the industry to get shoppers to buy holiday goods starting in October.
An estimated 166.3 million people plan to shop between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday this year, according to the National Retail Federation.
This number is almost 8 million more than last year.
The waiting game by shoppers has forced retailers to offer deep discounts on products, which could reduce profit margins in the fourth quarter.
Target ( TGT.N ), Macy’s ( MN ) and Best Buy ( BBY.N ) have also warned they will have to offer more discounts in November and December than in the past two years as shoppers delay buying.
Walmart has stepped up marketing for the holiday, buying ad space on Twitter and Instagram, at major league games and on billboards near New York’s Penn Station, hoping to get customers to shop early and often ahead of Black Friday.
Americans, especially from low-income households, are expected to pull back on holiday shopping this year as inflation and higher energy prices reduce their spending power.
An S&P Global Market Intelligence survey of nearly 1,700 US consumers shows that 26% of respondents are looking to spend less this holiday season, with 66% saying they plan to spend roughly the same amount as last year. Only 7% say they plan to spend more.
Reporting by Arriana McLymore in Raleigh, NC Additional reporting by Uday Sampath Kumar Editing by Nick Zieminski
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