Up to 147 million Americans are planning to shake off their turkey dinners, get up early, and visit their favorite retailers this coming Black Friday. In the process, they could be pumping up to $30 billion into the U.S. economy.
The National Retail Federation’s latest poll says 147 million shoppers is a slight decrease from the 152 million who shopped last year’s Black Friday, possibly due to this being the earliest Thanksgiving since 2007. But per-shopper spending looks to jump 25 percent, according to a Consumer Electronics Association poll, to $218.
“The 2012 Thanksgiving weekend has the potential to be the biggest shopping weekend on record [in the U.S.],” the CEA’s chief economist, Shawn DuBravac, said in a statement.
Sixty percent of U.S. adults — about 140 million Americans — plan to buy at least one Christmas gift this weekend, according to the Consumer Electronics Association. That one gift — plus whatever goodies we buy ourselves — will add up fast.
Multiply the 147 million American shoppers that NRF predicts may hit stores this weekend with the average per-shopper spend CEA is estimating, and you’ve got almost $32 billion in gifts and assorted goodies flying off both real and virtual shelves this weekend — $32,046,000,000, to be exact.
That would be a major increase from last year, which saw about $11.4 billion in Black Friday sales and $1.25 billion in Cyber Monday revenues. But it does cover the entire weekend: Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, and combines both offline and online sales.
According to new Nielsen poll, a lot of those gifts will be electronics, as kids are hoping for iPhones, iPads, and Nintendo Wii Us under the tree. The same is true of gifts Americans present to themselves, and adults’ wish lists are full of tablets, smartphones, and laptops.
According to the CEA a third of Americans will visit a bricks-and-mortar store, while another 20 percent will prefer to let their fingers do the walking, online.
But not all is sweetness and light.
As the U.S. government deals with an impending “fiscal cliff,” half of consumers surveyed by the CEA say they’re worried and that it will affect their spending — perhaps in anticipation of taxation increases in the new year. Eighteen percent said the fiscal cliff will have a “large impact” on their spending.
But perhaps not very large, if we’ll be spending $32 billion in four days this weekend.