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How do American feels about Black Friday?

Black Friday shoppers wait in the check-out line over an hour, after waiting in line to get in and then fighting huge crowds at the Toys-R-Us store at the Fair Lakes Shopping Center in Fairfax, Va.

Gallup's Frank Newport says just 18 percent of the people his company polled plan to brave the lines on Black Friday. Meanwhile, an Ipsos public affairs poll found just over 30 percent of the people they polled plan to shop on Black Friday, including online purchases.

"Despite all the media frenzy, advertising frenzy, no matter how you look at the polls, on Friday significantly less than half of us will be out there braving the crowds," says Newport. "But I guess the retailers are not dumb. They know that this segment of society -- whoever they are -- are going to spend a lot of money and that's why they're doing all this to get them out there."

Newport says good sales and cheap prices are the reasons that 95 percent of Black Friday shoppers head to the malls.

"People think things are cheaper when they go out at 3 a.m. on Black Friday morning," says Newport.

As for his own Black Friday shopping experiences, Newport admits that he avoids Black Friday like the plague.

"I'm a sociologist. It's fascinating to get out there I think and watch these frenzied crowds, but my social-scientific needs to observe don't overwhelm my needs to stay away from the crowds," he says.  

About the author

Frank Newport, Ph.D., is the editor-in-chief at Gallup and appears regularly on Marketplace.

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