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Study: Millennials Are Totally Cool with ‘the New Black Friday’

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Lots of brands have been getting flack for starting their holiday sales earlier and earlier and even (gasp!) soiling Thanksgiving by opening their doors before Americans can recover from their Turkey Day food hangovers. Some experts even claim that the phenomenon is quickly moving toward extinction.

Yet new reports on the behavior of that all-important Millennial demographic say otherwise.

A recent study by Accenture found that the young folks aren’t just twice as likely as their parents to shop on that Thursday and Friday—58% also plan to visit old-fashioned brick and mortar stores, while a majority of the 45-59 demo will avoid the holiday crush by sticking with e-commerce.

It’s not just the young folks, either: despite complaints about this change, 23.5% of respondents in a National Retail Federation survey said they plan to shop on Turkey Day this year. That’s a significant number, and more than 69% say they’ll be scouting for deals the day after.

What’s the overall forecast? Retail experts are predicting fewer shoppers this year—but that only means more unavoidable “Sale! Sale! Sale!” messages. Walmart and Kohl’s have both vowed to get more aggressive with their marketing messages after disappointing sales in the third quarter, with the big W promising “seven times the number of one-hour guaranteed items compared to last year” (whatever that means).

We’ve all read reports about the damage that the Black Friday obsession can do to retail brands, but it doesn’t look like the practice will change anytime soon. If anything, it will get worse before it gets better.

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