November 22, 2011, 4:05 PM

Shoppers are ready to go

More than half of U.S. consumers plan to shop on Thanksgiving weekend.

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Leaving the house Thursday might be tough for most people unless they have to make emergency runs for cranberries or beer, but that doesn’t mean shopping will suffer. More than half, or 51%, of U.S. consumers plan to shop either online or inside stores on the Thanksgiving Day weekend, according to a new survey.

Consulting firm Deloitte surveyed 1,000 U.S. consumers between Nov. 17 and Nov. 19, and also found that 23% of respondents plan to head to stores at midnight on Black Friday, the first day after Thanksgiving.  And more consumers will shop online that day than on the following Monday, also known as Cyber Monday. 50% of respondents said they would shop online on the Friday after Thanksgiving, while 41% said the same about Cyber Monday. 26% of respondents plan to shop online on Thanksgiving.

Those consumers apparently have their work cut out for them, as only 23% had completed their gift shopping by the time of the survey. And those are also the consumers that Toys ‘R’ Us Inc. hopes to attract early Thursday morning, with online-only sales that begin at 7 a.m. and that will be offered in the retail chain’s stores when they open at 9 a.m. Thursday.  Also on Thanksgiving Day, the retailer will offer free shipping on orders of $49 or more, until Dec. 3.

“This holiday season, we are pulling out all the stops on by offering extraordinary deals on thousands of items, including the hottest, most in-demand toys,” says Greg Ahearn, the retailer’s chief marketing officer. Toys ‘R’ Us is No. 29 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.  

The Deloitte survey also found that:

• 44% of respondents anticipated they will find comparable deals online and inside stores during the Black Friday weekend.

• 52% of respondents will avoid shopping in stores during the Black Friday weekend to avoid crowds.

• 33% will look at web sites dedicated to Black Friday deals.

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