Look for a Young Crowd on Black Friday

Millennials more likely to say they will spend on big sale days

November 6, 2017

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are, theoretically, appealing to shoppers of any age, but younger shoppers are more likely to join the crowd than older ones.

An October survey by comparison engine Finder.com indicates that most millennials expect to spend money on Black Friday or Cyber Monday this year, whereas Gen Xers are roughly split on the matter. Barely one-quarter of baby boomers expect to be spenders on those days.

The report also compared households by income level and found that respondents in a lower bracket ($50,000 to $75,000) were considerably more likely to plan to spend money on the big sales days, compared with those in higher-income households ($150,000 to $300,000). Almost half of the lower-income group said they would be shopping, compared with just over a third of those in the higher-income cohort.

Given the relatively youthful skew of the Black Friday/Cyber Monday shoppers, it stands to reason that lower-income households would be more likely to participate.

The survey also found that less than half (47.8%) of shoppers in general say they hold off on spending in order to take advantage of the sales on those days. Put another way, though, and that means more than half of shoppers don't hold off for the big sales days. 

Those responses mirror an ongoing debate in the industry about the continued relevance of Black Friday. Several recent studies have suggested that increased online promotions and retailers’ ever-earlier or extended Black Friday doorbuster deals are killing consumers’ appetite to shop the day after Thanksgiving—while other polls point to the contrary. Similar debates have also been made about the relevancy of Cyber Monday and Thanksgiving Day itself.

An October survey by Nielsen found that 61% of US consumers planned to shop on Black Friday this season, up from 54% last year. On the other hand, A recent Accenture survey found that some 52% of consumers are less inclined to shop in-store and online on Black Friday this year compared to a few years ago.