Shoppers opting to skip Black Friday crowds, say it’s just another day

black friday ... nah PULLMAN, Wash. – According to a new survey from Washington State University’s Carson College of Business, nearly 65 percent of Pacific Northwest residents are planning to skip Black Friday this year.

The survey of 1,000 customers, examined perceptions and attitudes toward the holiday shopping season, and how and where people are planning to do their shopping this year.

“With Black Friday historically being such a crucial time for retailers, it is fascinating to see consumer interest in this shopping day drop dramatically,” said David Sprott, Carson College senior associate dean. “We see this shift as an indicator of consumers’ desire to shop for holiday gifts throughout the year and an increasing expectation for deals year-round, not just during Black Friday sales.”

Sprott Dave WSU Carson College

In addition to examining consumers’ plans for Black Friday, the Carson College of Business wanted to better understand how e-commerce and other technologies, such as evolving payment methods, are impacting people’s shopping habits during the holiday season and beyond.

Key findings from the survey include:

  • Consumers are putting the kibosh on Black Friday in-store shopping.
    • Only 36 percent of Pacific Northwest residents reported they are even somewhat likely to shop in-store on Black Friday this year, and nearly half (43 percent) indicated they were very unlikely to shop at all.
    • Three-quarters of respondents noted that any shopping they did on Black Friday would be online, which may be due to a few factors:
      • 69 percent get anxious thinking of all the crowds at stores;
      • 60 percent said they can get those deals anywhere, anytime besides Black Friday;
      • 85 percent of shoppers agreed that Black Friday used to be an event, now it’s an entire week.
    • Many consumers are giving up Black Friday to spend time with family and get outdoors (62 and 25 percent, respectively).
  • People have good intentions to shop local and at brick-and-mortar locations, but their actual purchases may end up being online.
    • 69 percent reported they were likely to shop in-store only, but ironically, 76 percent also reported Amazon was the top retailer they planned to purchase from.
    • 7 in 10 shoppers plan to buy holiday gifts in-store at local chains or small businesses, but 65 percent are also planning to buy online or at international chains.
    • Nearly half (49 percent) admitted they will most likely “webroom,” or look at items online first before purchasing them in-store.
    • While many of the purchases may take place online this year, consumers reported a couple factors that may increase their chance of buying in-store, including price matching (59 percent) and an easy return policy (63 percent).
  • Despite the growing number of payment technologies, retailers should not expect quick consumer adoption.
    • Only 30 percent plan to use Pay Pal, and even less (5 percent) indicated they will use other options such as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or Google Wallet.
    • Looking to the future, only 25 percent of shoppers were intrigued with idea of shopping without needing to checkout.


Media Contacts:

  • David Sprott, Carson College senior associate dean, 509-335-6896,
  • Sarah Druffel, director of strategic communication, Carson College of Business, 509-335-4345,