Commentary

Here Today, Surf Tomorrow

According to recent survey data from Experian, while the recession has caused consumers to stay closer to home this year, the observance of this holiday is more significant to consumers than ever before. 31% of US consumers say they are less willing to take on travel expenses because of the economic crisis and plan to celebrate this year's Thanksgiving holiday closer to home, and 38% plan to travel only 1-25 miles to celebrate the holiday.

37% of consumers said they do not plan to travel for their Thanksgiving meal because they are hosting the celebration. Of the respondents who plan to commute to a celebration, 29% expect to endure rain or snow when trying to reach to their destination.

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31% of survey respondents said they feel that Thanksgiving is more important to them this year because of the recession. At the same time, however, they are less willing to take on the expense of travel. Two-thirds of consumers indicated they plan to celebrate Thanksgiving closer to home this year because of the recession.

When it comes to the number of Thanksgiving celebrations survey respondents plan to attend, 70% stated they plan to go to one and 19% of respondents plan to attend two.

91% of survey respondents revealed that spending time with loved ones is most important to them when celebrating Thanksgiving. When asked which of the traditional Thanksgiving dishes respondents would include as most important to them in the Thanksgiving meal:

  • 87% said turkey
  • 67% said stuffing
  • 67% said pie
  • 58% said mashed potatoes
  • 55% said cranberry sauce

This year, the recession is expected to have a significant impact on the holiday shopping season: 87% of consumers revealed that they have been cutting back on spending in the last three months because of the recession. Not surprisingly, consumers' Thanksgiving plans and sentiments also have been impacted by the recession.

From another study, Experian reports that also many Americans have hit the internet in search of Black-Friday deals before Thanskgiving even arrives. The latest data from Experian Hitwise revealed that, in the four weeks ended November 7, 2009, online properties BlackFriday Info, Black Friday Ads, Walmart, Black Friday Advertisements  and Target received the most online traffic from web searches for "Black Friday."

Most Popular Black Friday Websites (Four Weeks Ending 11/7/09)

Rank

Site

Domain

Share of Traffic

1

BlackFriday.info

www.blackfriday.info

27.08%

2

Black Friday Ads

www.theblackfriday.com

10.41

3

Walmart

www.walmart.com

6.88

4

Black Friday Advertisements

www.bfads

6.29

5

Target

www.target.com

5.22

6

Dealighted-Black Friday

blackfriday.dealighted.com

5.08

7

Yahoo! News

news.yahoo.com

5.22

8

Black Friday

www.black-friday.net

2.04

9

Facebook

www.facebook.com

1.86

10

I4U

www.i4u.com

1.69

Source: Hitwise Search Intelligence, November 2009

The Thanksgiving travel study was conducted via the web from October 14 - November 11, 2009. The Hitwise data on Black-Friday related websites was collected during the four weeks ended November 7, 2009.

For more information about the study, please visit Experian here.

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