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Study examines shoppers' attitudes about Black Friday

NEW YORK -- One-third of American adults plan to shop Black Friday this week, according to a study by WSL/Strategic Retail, which also found that shoppers consider Black Friday to be part of their holiday tradition, despite beliefs that they may get better deals online or on different sale days during the holidays.

"Black Friday is an event, an annual ritual that, for many, marks the opening of the holiday season," said Wendy Liebmann, CEO of WSL/Strategic Retail. "The excitement of getting to stores early, hunting down hot items and even picking up a few special gifts for themselves, all factor into the emotional draw of Black Friday - often outweighing the promise of getting the lowest price."

"The great news for retailers is that they can still count on Black Friday to bring in high-volumes of enthusiastic shopper traffic," said Candace Corlett, president of the firm. "However, the way they are shopping has changed. The notoriety for best bargains is slowly diminishing. A remarkable 88% of Black Friday shoppers are now aware that they can check promotion prices online beforehand to see if it's worth making the trip."

While a majority of Black Friday shoppers said that the crowds have become too crazy (78%) and they may get better deals online and on Cyber Monday (67%), the study shows it's not enough to discourage them from shopping.

The study also revealed:

• 1/3 of all shoppers still consider Black Friday to be the best single day for holiday sales (although not quite as good as they used to be);

• 80% of Black Friday shoppers say it is a good time to buy things for themselves;

• 80% say shopping on Black Friday means they are able to get their holiday shopping done early;

• More than 75% of Black Friday shoppers say they shop to get in the holiday spirit;

• 60% say they shop Black Friday because it is a tradition for them.

The How America Shops Black Friday study was conducted as an online survey from Nov. 1-5, 2012, among 1,020 adult shoppers ages 18+.

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