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Poll: Holiday Shopping Brings Mix of Anticipation, Dread

by Jen De Pinto, Sarah Dutton, Fred Backus and Anthony Salvanto

Many Americans come together on Thanksgiving. But one thing that divides them in the latest CBS News Poll: those who want to shop, and those who don’t.

50% say holiday shopping is something they dread while fewer, 42%, say they do look forward to it.

Some chain stores have announced they will expand their opening hours on Thanksgiving Day, but three in four Americans think that stores should be closed on Thanksgiving Day, so workers and shoppers can spend time with their families.  Just 18% think stores should be open to make things more convenient for holiday shoppers.  Men are more likely than women to think stores should be open. 

Will Americans take advantage? Just over a third say they plan to do holiday shopping at some point over Thanksgiving weekend, but few Americans say they actually plan to shop on Thanksgiving Day itself.  Many more don’t plan to shop.  The most popular day to shop is what’s often referred to as “Black Friday”; just 2% say they plan to shop on Thanksgiving Day.

As has been the case in past years, one in ten Americans expect to spend more on holiday gifts than they did last year, and 37% expect to spend less.  Half say they will spend about the same as they did last year.

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