Poll finds growing popularity of Thanksgiving shopping

- While Thanksgiving shopping has its critics, more people plan to shop today than on Thanksgiving last year, according to the National Retail Federation's Thanksgiving Weekend Expectations survey.

The survey found that of the 58.7 percent of the adults surveyed who said they would or might shop during Thanksgiving weekend, 22.3 percent said they planned to shop on Thanksgiving.

A year ago, 60.1 percent of the adults surveyed said they would or might shop during Thanksgiving weekend and 18.3 percent said they would planned to shop on Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving shopping continues of prove more popular with younger adults than their older counterparts, according to the survey of 7,172 adults conducted Nov. 3-10 by Prosper Insights & Analytics. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points.

Of respondents who said they would or might shop during Thanksgiving weekend, 25.4 percent of the 18-24 year-olds said they planned to shop on Thanksgiving, 32.7 percent of the 25-34 year olds and 28.9 of the 35-44 year
olds.

However, 20.2 percent of those 45-54 years old said they planned to shop on Thanksgiving, 17.8 percent of the 55-64 year olds and 10.1 percent of those 65 and older.

The 2014 survey found that of respondents who said they would or might shop during Thanksgiving weekend, 22.6 percent of the 18-24 year-olds said they planned to shop on Thanksgiving, 27.5 percent of the 25-34 year olds and 24.2 of the 35-44 year olds.

However, 17.4 percent of those 45-54 years old said they planned to shop on Thanksgiving, 11.9 percent of the 55-64 year olds and 7.1 percent of those 65 and older.

"Millennials love shopping in stores and online over Thanksgiving weekend for several reasons, including the opportunities afforded to them that allow them to splurge on `non-gifts' for themselves and even the potential to
sleep in on Black Friday after having spent the night before bouncing from store to store," said Pam Goodfellow, Prosper's principal analyst.

"For these adults, it's less about making room for pumpkin pie and more about going out with friends, checking out the deals through their mobile phones and experiencing retailers' night owl hours and perhaps making a dent in their shopping lists."

Most major retail chains will open as the same times as they did a year ago, except for J.C. Penney, which will open at 3 p.m., two hours earlier than last year and five hours earlier than 2013, the first time it was open on
Thanksgiving.

Chains opening their stores at the same times as last year includes Kmart (6 a.m.), Toys R Us (5 p.m.) and Macy's, Sears and Target (all 6 p.m.) 

Retailers have drawn criticism for opening on Thanksgiving because of the disruption it causes in the lives of their employees and for dividing families on a holiday known for bringing them together.

Many stores staff Thanksgiving with seasonal employees and those who volunteer to work and pay them time-and-a-half.

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