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CEA: Black Friday Most Popular Day to Shop This Thanksgiving

Consumers spent $43.7 billion on holiday gifts Thanksgiving weekend with consumer electronics second only to clothes

Consumers spent $43.7 billion on holiday gifts this Thanksgiving weekend with nearly 70 million U.S. adults shopping on Black Friday, according to interim results from the Consumer Electronics Association’s annual “Black Friday Survey,” which examines shopping habits, intentions and expectations Thanksgiving Day through Monday, Nov. 26.

CEA predicted 120 million U.S. adults would shop during the 2012 Thanksgiving weekend.

The average U.S. consumer who shopped or planned to shop will have spent $365 on gifts this weekend. CEA’s annual CE holiday purchase study found that consumers plan to spend a total of $842 on all gifts this holiday season.

The most popular day to shop this Thanksgiving weekend was Friday, with 29% of U.S. adults (69.6 million) indicating they shopped or planned to shop that day. Last year, 27% of adults shopped on Black Friday. Saturday was expected to be the next busiest day of the weekend, according to CEA’s survey, with 21% of adults planning to shop. Shopping on Thanksgiving Day also was up this year. Slightly more than 31 million adults (13%) shopped on Thanksgiving, up from 11% of U.S. adults last year.

Consumer electronics was second only to clothes as the most popular items purchased this weekend. Through Friday, 63% of those shopping purchased clothing and 47% bought electronics. Of those who shopped or planned to shop, more than a third (34%) of their total spending will be on electronics with ten percent of all shoppers saying they only purchased or only planned to purchase CE products this weekend.

Mobile devices were the most popular electronics purchased through Friday. Among those buying CE, more than a quarter (26%) bought a smartphone and 22% bought a tablet Thursday or Friday. Headphones (25%), portable media players (22%) and video game consoles (20%) were the next most commonly purchased CE products during the first two days of the long weekend. Other popular CE purchased included e-readers, TVs, digital cameras and accessories.