Them or me? Why Black Friday is (sometimes) about gifts

Graeme BruceBusiness Data Journalist
November 12, 2019, 4:25 PM GMT+0

Black Friday shoppers seem to be in a giving mood this year.

More than half of Americans plan to buy gifts for others over the Thanksgiving shopping weekend, according to new YouGov data. About a quarter plan to shop on one of the two major shopping days: Black Friday (27%) or Cyber Monday (24%).

But those discount deals aren’t exclusively purchased for others. There’s a heavy dose of people that shop for themselves: 21 percent of Americans plan to shop for themselves on Black Friday and 18 percent on Cyber Monday.

Thirty-eight percent said they don’t plan to buy anything on these big shopping days and 17 percent said they don’t know.

Millennials are much more likely to shop on either day, both for themselves and for others. A third (33%) of them will pick up things for themselves on Black Friday, compared with GenX (29%) and Baby Boomers (17%).

We can expect similar consumer behavior on Cyber Monday.

If it feels as though you’re hearing about Black Friday earlier than usual, it’s not just you: Walmart launched its holiday shopping season six days before Halloween, marking the retailer’s earliest start date. If Walmart continues on this trend, expect to see other retailers follow suit, as Walmart remains the dominant trend-setting Black Friday player.

On average, nearly a quarter (24%) of Americans do their holiday shopping in late November/early December around Black Friday and Cyber Monday, according to YouGov consumer data going back to 2015.

Image: Getty

Related: Christmas shopping: Here’s when America really gets it done

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