Who’s Shopping on Thanksgiving Day? Depends on Who You Ask
Life + Money

Who’s Shopping on Thanksgiving Day? Depends on Who You Ask

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The growing trend of retailers opening on Thanksgiving Day has generated lots of headlines and criticism. But beyond the hoopla, how many shoppers will actually show up in stores on turkey day?

A lot, some and not many, depending on which poll you listen to.

According to a survey from Deal News, a little more than half of consumers plan to shop on Thanksgiving Day. But only 22.3 percent of consumers surveyed by the National Retail Federation said they definitely will or may shop on the holiday.

Related: Black Friday Shopping Guide: Who’s Offering Deals on Thanksgiving Day

Even fewer said they would in the surveys conducted by Deloitte and the International Council of Shopping Centers. ICSC’s survey found that only 12 percent of people said they would be buying holiday gifts on Thanksgiving Day, while Deloitte’s survey said 14 percent plan to shop in stores. (Twenty-four percent said they would shop online on the holiday.)

Readers of NewsDash, a retirement benefits trade publication, are the most reluctant to get out to the mall on Thanksgiving. Only 2.7 percent of those surveyed said they would shop that day.

Surveys show that consumers are similarly fickle about stores that stay open on Thanksgiving.

The “vast majority” of NewsDash readers were unhappy with stores that opened on Thanksgiving Day, though no figure was cited. A Conlumino survey found that barely a majority of people -- 51.2 percent -- agreed or strongly agreed that stores should not be open.

Related: The Surprising Truth Behind Those Black Friday ‘Deals’

The Deloitte survey found that 56 percent of shoppers are more loyal to stores that close on Thanksgiving Day. By contrast, market research firm Vennli found that 87 percent of shoppers said a store’s Thanksgiving opening had no bearing on whether they would shop there.

Vennli’s survey, however, also found that 27 percent of shoppers noted that their biggest holiday shopping pet peeve was stores that open on Thanksgiving.

The above surveys included responses from a combined 16,821 consumers, who were polled in September and November. It’s possible, though statistically unlikely, that consumers could have participated in more than one survey. The surveys from NewsDash and Vennli provided no figures on participation.