NEW YORK (MainStreet) — After all the food and football on Thanksgiving, guys are ready to get out of the recliner and into the retail game. In fact, contrary to popular opinion, guys are more likely to brave the Black Friday crowds than women – and will spend more money, too.
A Nielsen survey reports 53% of men said they plan to shop in-store on the day after Thanksgiving, compared with 50% of women. And surprisingly, nearly one-quarter of these bargain-shopping consumers are Black Friday retail rookies, marking their first store visits on the Big Day. In fact, 29% of these shopping novices are men, compared to 22% of women.
Men will spend a bit more, too. Fully 31% of guys said they'll shell out $250 to $500 on Black Friday merchandise during visits to their favorite retailers: electronic stores, department stores, mass merchandisers, online shopping venues and club stores. Meanwhile, 28% of women plan to budget as much, preferring to shop mostly at department stores and mass merchandisers.
And while more men are willing to hit the pavement, park the minivan and get knee-deep into the bargain bins, there will also be a sizeable amount of money spent shopping online. Four-out-of-ten of those surveyed – men and women -- plan to shop online for their Black Friday purchases. But more women (60%) shop online during Cyber Monday than men (50%).
Of course, inspiring the holiday shopping enthusiasm for guys are gadgets. According to the survey, men said they'll be looking to purchase mainly consumer electronics and video games and consoles. Women will be shopping most for apparel. More than one-third of all purchases (36%) made by both sexes will be for gift cards.
Nielsen reports about $1 trillion is spent on retail sales promotions annually – much of that during the holidays. Are the discounts real? Yes, to a fault. Retailers often lose money on these deep discounts, with two-thirds of trade promotions held during the year failing to break even – except during the holidays. Price cuts of 30-60% work better during Thanksgiving and Black Friday than during any other time of the year, driving store profits up by more than 20%.
General merchandise retailers gain the most profit from these holiday promotions, with discounts helping to drive sales throughout store departments, with noticeable gains in sales for beauty and personal care products – as well as, get this: meat and produce.
--Hal M. Bundrick is a Certified Financial Planner and contributor to MainStreet. Follow him on Twitter: @HalMBundrick