Black Friday Is Losing Its Luster As a Shopping EventFewer people will camp out all night outside the nation's stores before Black Friday in hopes of snatching up the season's hot gifts as soon as the doors are flung open.

And just as the Super Bowl of the holiday shopping season is losing some of its luster, more U.S. consumers will use their smart phones and tablet computers to hunt down the best holiday deals, according to Accenture's holiday shopping survey.

The management consulting firm polled 500 consumers on their holiday shopping plans this year. Here's what they found:

Black Friday Waning

The turnout for Black Friday this holiday season could be the lowest in three years. That's because more shoppers will delay purchases until after Black Friday (52% versus 42% in 2010), holding out for steeper price markdowns.

The expectation of even better sales down the road is the reason given by 57% of consumers who plan to shop late in the season, while 35% of procrastinators said they'll postpone holiday shopping to allow themselves more time to save for their purchases.

Although Black Friday weekend's appeal appears to be waning, many shoppers still consider the traditional kickoff to the holiday selling season the best time to scoop up bargains, along with Cyber Monday -- the Monday after Thanksgiving -- which has become the biggest online shopping day of the year, the survey showed.

And consumers will still be on the hunt for big sales: 40% of shoppers polled said an item being on sale is the most important factor in their purchase decision.

Shoppers' Bargain Tool: Smart phones, Tablets

Retailers had better be on their game this holiday when it comes to being competitively priced: 54% of consumers planning to use a smart phone or tablet computer to buy gifts will use the device to compare prices when in a store; 43% believe these devices will help them nab bigger discounts.

One-quarter of shoppers are planning for a "thrifty" holiday season, while 18% said they would be focused on "necessities," the survey said.

Indeed, 43% of shoppers polled said they'll cut back on gift spending this year due to a range of factors reflecting the weak economy. These include less discretionary income and savings, higher living expenses, including food and energy bills, fear of a job loss as well as a recent job loss.

On Santa's List

Still, they will be spending.

Clothing tops shoppers' gift wish lists, with 54% planning on buying apparel. Also high priorities: toys (36%) and electronic gadgets such as smart phones and tablet computers (36%).

But a majority of consumers -- 57% -- said they'll let the gift recipient decide, and opt for a gift card.

While shoppers will still flock to discounters this holiday season, the biggest shopping destination for holiday gifts, they are losing their appeal as department stores make a comeback, according to poll respondents. "The high-performing department stores have retained a keen focus on promotions that are carefully targeted to hit their customers' value button," said Janet Hoffman, managing director of Accenture's retail practice, in a statement.

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Yes, I will never understand the appeal of camping out for deals on Black Friday. Why wait in line for hours? Why deal with the crowds and traffic?! I prefer sleeping in that day and doing my shopping while watching QVC… It’s a lot easier and they offer great deals! Oh! Plus, they have some of their Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals up at and so my mom can let me know what to get before I actually go to buy it ;-)

November 21 2011 at 11:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

That's because of buyer/resellers, people bring their entire families to sales, and people who make the entire thing miserable for the rest of us. I'm tired of people who camp out from the beginning of the week to get deals. I wish that the stores wouldn't allow people to start lining up until midnight on Friday, I think it would increase the anticipation again and the positive feelings connected to Black Friday. But I know that there are a ton of people like me who are fed up with the crowds and the greed and the selfishness and the stores not only allowing, but encouraging, this kind of behavior because they feel like it brings more attention to them. After the year I went to Target and sat in front of the store for hours just for the stupid guard to let people who showed up 10 mins before the store opened, run into the store ahead of us, I've sworn off going anywhere for Black Friday. Anything I can't buy online, I will just do without. I don't feel like delaing with the mess and aggravation anymore.

October 16 2011 at 2:57 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

The whack job, left wing, Marxist posing as a socialist, liberal, progressive, democrat and, as a result, victimized Friday must think the rest of the days are racists.

October 14 2011 at 2:54 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

My first,and last,Black Friday experience was last year.I got to Toys R Us around midnight,stood in line for over 2 and a half hours waiting to pay for a Tattoo Barbie,Pixie Barbie and diapers,all the while knowing I must be nuts for doing it.I have to say that everyone was very nice and well behaved.There were no brawls over the last whatever on the shelf and people were making the best of it all.Did hear some feedback from other shoppers that had been at the Wal mart where some people had guns and were threatening to shoot each other over towels that were on sale.No more Black Fridays for me.I learned my lesson last year.The whole thing is such a gimmick!

October 14 2011 at 10:04 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

its hard to shop,and buy stuff when you have to watch every nickle you have,and you real world salary just hasn't kept up with increased costs of living.....go figure.....I don't have unlimited financial resources,like our government thinks it has.

October 14 2011 at 9:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to nfischet's comment

you're obviously a CITIZEN.

October 14 2011 at 9:57 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to billv0164's comment

I thought black friday was the day the welfare checks came out!

October 14 2011 at 10:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down

More like an Obama slave that he will steal as much from while forcing them to eat swill a pig won't touch.

October 14 2011 at 2:51 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down

This whole Black Friday "game" has burnt out people! I spent 15 years in retail prior to the stupid insane sales that get people in the store at 4am, and most of those people are back home by 9am. They don't shop all day. Black Friday was never the biggest shopping day, our sales were always the largest the Saturday before Christmas, not even close. Black Friday is as much of a media hype as it is a retail game.

October 14 2011 at 9:28 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Adam Locascio

I never understood people who camp out for Black Friday deals. There were people who camped out for 2 days to save a buck on a television set. People don't realize that your time is worth money. In Florida, the median income is around $38000. That's about $17 bucks an hour. If you camp out for a whole day, that's $408 of your time.... and there's a chance you'll get shot or trampled to save $100 on a plasma TV. Stay the f*** home where it's warm.

October 14 2011 at 9:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Adam Locascio's comment

So the protesters on wall street don't know their time is worth money. That explains it perfectly, I thought they were just typical, whack job lefties who got lost on the way to the brain store, Who knew?

October 14 2011 at 3:05 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

For the last six (6) years I have:

a) Not ever shopped for anything on Black Friday
b) Not purchased any presents at a or shopped in a Mall
c) Not purchased any toys for the Grandkids that required batteries or connectivity to a computer.
d) For that matter, not puchased any toys made in China. (USA, Germany & Canada)
e) Purchased tools (for gifts) made only in the USA.
f) Purchased clothing as gifts made in Canada, Ireland or the US (tough, but doable).

And 70% of that was done from my PC, the rest in by shopping in Main Street single-owner stores. They still exist, guys and gals.

October 14 2011 at 8:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


October 14 2011 at 8:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Judy Lynn

In protest of the moneymongers disposible foreign goods Americans should have a BLACK Christmas. Turn out the lights and let the merchants keep their cheap throw - away toxic toys, clothing, and defective electronics. If you have to use a charge card you do not need it anyway, cut up those cards and pay as you go. Stop being pimped by foreign products manufactured by slave laborers.

October 14 2011 at 8:16 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Judy Lynn's comment

Amen Judy! Charge cards have hindered people in saving. I say shop at stores like K-Mart and TJMaxx which have lay-away plans instead if you have to purchase gifts. Day after Christmas, have cash and stock up on candles, ornaments, and specialty items and box and save for the next holiday season (remember it is the thought that counts). If you shop online, shop at e-tailers which hire Americans for its call centers (Lands End and Gap come to mind). It's a challenge to buy clothing not made in Asia, however if the company employs Americans as call center agents, at least I provide some support to the company. I always keep a look out for "Made in the USA" items. If something is made in China, it goes right back onto the shelf. People need to start exercising their power of the dollar and say enough is enough.

October 14 2011 at 8:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply