CHARLESTON, S.C. — According to findings in two America's Research Group surveys — conducted in late March and in late April — the number of Americans delaying their shopping to Memorial Day weekend is at an all-time high.
According to the surveys, shoppers will approach Memorial Day in keeping with a growing trend towards holding off on shopping until "big" holiday weekends. "This used to be an effect that was the private reserve of 'Black Friday,'" ARG chairman Britt Beemer said. "Beginning with our [October 2011] survey, which showed Americans delaying in record numbers, Americans have begun using the 'hold-it-until-the-holiday' tactic in a much broader and more significant way."
More than 6% of shoppers in March and 21% in April reported that they are delaying their shopping plans until Memorial Day weekend. Last year, less than 3% of shoppers in March and only 11% of shoppers in April were waiting until Memorial Day.
"This is a major shift in the retail landscape," Beemer said. "Not only are Americans delaying, but they are also making a weekend that was once thought of as the 'start of summer' — a time to go someplace warmer or to relax or picnic, perhaps — into one that is akin to Black Friday: a time to clip coupons, look for sales."
Beemer estimated that shopping levels will exceed 35%, compared with 2011. "Those retailers who offer early bird specials and open early on Memorial Day … will see the best sales and the highest spending levels. The closer you come to creating Black Friday, the better your sales will be," Beemer said.