Black Friday is traditionally seen as the start of America Christmas shopping timebut inflation appears to have changed consumer behavior this year, with Black Friday easily eclipsed by small business Saturday.
A new survey released by Bankrate.com found that 59% of holiday shoppers are likely to hit stores on Small Business Saturday, while 56% plan to shop on Black Friday.
Retailers will continue to see significant traffic both in person and online this Thanksgiving weekend at around 80% Shoppers saying they will shop either on Friday, Saturday or Cyber Monday, according to the study.
But trends suggest that several months of high prices have prompted consumers to start planning ahead for the 2022 holidays.
BLACK FRIDAY SHOPPING TIPS: WHERE TO FIND THE BEST DISCOUNTS
People shop for Christmas gifts along Park Avenue in Winter Park on December 23, 2021. (Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
Ted Rossman, senior industry analyst at Bankrate, said FOX business He speculates this will be the “most normal” Christmas shopping season in three years since most pandemic worries have faded. But he says, “Inflation is the dominant issue now.”
In a previous survey, Bankrate found that 40% of holiday shoppers change their habits due to higher prices, looking for more discounts, shopping earlier and buying fewer items.
Rossman pointed out that about half of the buyers surveyed were getting started Buy Christmas presents before Halloween, which is similar to last year. But he says this year “the motivation is different.”
While the 2021 shopping season was marked by supply chain issues, these have largely healed. Now many retailers are burdened with too much inventory which forces them to offer more discounts.
“This should be the best discount season in years,” Rossman predicted.
CRIME IN THE RETAIL WORLD MAKES FOR AN NOT SO HAPPY CHRISTMAS SHOPPING SEASON
According to Rossman, the evidence is already there, with several retailers including Amazon, Target, Walmart and Best Buy rolling out Black Friday and Cyber Monday-type deals the beginning of October.
He pointed out that consumers are still spending, but they are paying close attention to where each dollar is going as essentials like gas, groceries and homes eat up a larger chunk of household budgets.
Because many people started shopping early, Rossman explained, this weekend’s shopping may not look exactly the same as it did before the pandemic. There may not be that many shoppers queuing at 5am for door crackers as many deals have been available online for weeks.
“I think there’s a social component to in-person shopping that a lot of people have missed during the pandemic‘ Rossman added. “I think there’s a sense of nostalgia and support for local businesses that will make a lot of people want to round up some friends and family to go to some shops over Thanksgiving weekend.”
Read more from FOX Business