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Getting In on the Black Friday Shopping Frenzy

NATIONAL REPORT — While some retailers are backing off the craziness of Black Friday, keeping their stores closed or shifting promotions online, there will certainly still be scores of shoppers out seeking deals on the day after Thanksgiving.

Who is the Black Friday shopper? According to CivicScience Inc., a consumer insights firm, younger shoppers who perhaps haven't been fatigued by years of holiday mayhem may be the best bet — especially if stores play up the deals and the ambiance.

CivicScience also offered up these insights on Black Friday customers:  

  • The Black Friday shopper is 20 percent more likely to be a woman.
  • They are 64 percent more likely to be under 30 years old.
  • Their household income is very similar to that of the average adult.
  • They are 23 percent more likely to have no children.

Lower gas prices are expected to boost spending this holiday season. Convenience store operators stand to benefit as 87 percent of holiday shoppers expect to stop at a c-store, particularly to buy gas (77 percent of all travelers and 86 percent of regular Black Friday shoppers), or to use the bathroom (half of all travelers and 51 percent of regular Black Friday shoppers), according to research conducted by NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing.  

With holiday shoppers at their locations, c-store operators are gearing up to offer gift solutions as well.

Drones, one of this year's hottest gifts, can be found at Turkey Hill Minit Markets. The chain will feature a Stunt Series Drone for $49.99 among the Black Friday deals at its stores in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana.

"We knew drones were expected to be sought-after gifts this year, so we wanted to give our customers an easy way to get one at a great price," said Kim Hertzog, public relations manager for Turkey Hill Minit Markets. "Since the demand is high, we’ll only be able to have a limited quantity of Stunt Series Drones at each store. But that’s just the beginning of the deals for Black Friday at Turkey Hill."

In addition, the chain will offer each shopper a free 16-ounce cup of coffee, fountain beverage or slushey on Black Friday, Nov. 27. Shoppers will also be entered for a chance to win a 50-inch television when they use their Turkey Hill Rewards Card (or Kroger Plus Card in Ohio and Indiana) with the purchase of any item on Turkey Hill’s list of Black Friday specials.
Even with discounted prices and exclusive deals, there is a chance Black Friday sales could be soft this year. A combination of consumer behavior and month-long promotions has led to consumers getting an early start to their holiday shopping.

Coupled with a backlash against some retailers opening their stores on Thanksgiving, Black Friday as a whole is becoming less of an indicator for the overall season, according to Deborah Weinswig, executive director of the Fung Business Intelligence Centre. In 2014, Black Friday weekend sales declined 11.3 percent year over year, while overall retail spending in November rose 5 percent.

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