Everyone remain calm

Here it comes. In just a few days, the best laid plans of retailers and the patience of their store associates will be put to the test, as value conscious shoppers engage in a Black Friday free-for-all and a weekend of bargain hunting. Early indications are it is going to be bad, or good, depending on one’s view of this uniquely American phenomenon.

Consumer research from the National Retail Federation suggest stores are going to be busier this Thanksgiving weekend than they were last year, with as many as 138 million people planning to shop. Slightly more than 27.1% of survey respondents said it is likely they will go shopping the Friday, Saturday or Sunday after Thanksgiving and another 35% indicated they may. Most of those planning to brave the nation’s highway and congested retail outlets are young, with the nearly half of those age 18 to 24 planning to shop. The percentages of those planning to shop this weekend decline steadily with consumer age, as only 9.2% of those over 65 planning to shop. Men are as likely as women to shop Thanksgiving weekend, with less than a percentage point separating the genders. Meanwhile, those with household incomes greater than $50,000 are more likely (29.7% yes) than those below that income threshold (25.3% yes) to shop next weekend.