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Who are online vs. in-store shoppers? You may be surprised

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Published:   |   Updated: November 12, 2013 at 04:45 PM

Despite anyone’s preconceptions that Millennials buy everything online, it’s actually those 18- to 24-year-olds who may be first in line to shop in actual physical stores this Thanksgiving Day.

Why? The pure sport of it, according to the consulting and research firm Accenture, which polled Americans to find out their plans for shopping on Thanksgiving.

A full 58 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds polled in Accenture’s September survey said they plan to shop in a physical store on Thanksgiving, and a third of them said it’s “about being part of the excitement.”

By contrast, it’s their parents who appear to be the ones planning to park on the couch in their pajamas and shop online Thanksgiving morning, with just 4 percent saying the sport of going to the stores in the rush was the primary appeal.

Overall, Thanksgiving morning is quickly taking over for Black Friday as the official starting gun for the holiday shopping rush. “Consumers voted with their feet on the subject of Thanksgiving Day shopping in 2012 and we expect to see even more stores throwing the doors open before midnight on Thanksgiving Day this year,” said Chris Donnelly, global managing director of Accenture’s Retail practice.

Like many forward-looking surveys that try to gauge people’s intentions and plans, the real proof will come in the weeks after the holiday shopping period, when both stores and consumers start to tally their profits and credit card bills.

And for those who consider all this Thanksgiving-day shopping scandalous, there’s plenty of company. The survey found 41 percent said they won’t shop that day because “they consider Thanksgiving to be a day for spending time with family.”

rmullins@tampatrib.com

(813) 259-7919

Twitter: @DailyDeadline

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