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Black Friday: Don't Expect the Crowds of Years Past

There is a declining interest in Black Friday, according to a recent survey.
Black Friday bargain hunters wait in line at Toys "R" Us, which opened at 9 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 2011, in New York City.

Turns out, there might be less door-busting on Black Friday this year.

Nielsen’s annual Holiday Spending Forecast found that only 13 percent of consumers plan to shop in brick-and-mortar stores this Black Friday.

That number is down from 17 percent last year, indicating a trend of consumers’ slowly declining interest in the shopping holiday, the report concluded. The results are based on responses from 1,000 U.S. survey participants.

Perhaps this is one reason why small businesses aren’t optimistic about sales for this year’s holiday season. According to another recent holiday survey, only 30 percent of small business retailers are expecting strong sales during the coming months. 

Nielsen’s results don’t necessarily indicate that consumers are shopping any less. Many of them are just shopping on a different day -- Cyber Monday. 

Cyber Monday, traditionally the Monday after Thanksgiving, offers Black Friday-type deals, and a whopping 88 percent of consumers said they will be shopping on Cyber Monday this year, according to Nielsen. 

The report also suggests that the two shopping holidays are merging. Half of survey respondents said that they’ll be shopping on Black Friday this year, but their shopping will take place online. 

Last updated: Nov 18, 2013

LAURA MONTINI | Staff Writer

Laura Montini is a reporter at Inc. She previously covered health care technology for Health 2.0 News and has served as an associate editor at The Health Care Blog. She lives in San Francisco.

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