Western Union Survey Reveals 60 Percent of Consumers Say “Black Friday Sales Are NO Big Deal”

Englewood, CO: The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU), a leader in global payments, found in a recent survey conducted with Wakefield Research that six in ten consumers agree that Black Friday sales are not as big of a deal as they’re made out to be.
According to the survey, the real reason shoppers are skipping Black Friday sales is not because they prefer to shop online, but instead because in-store sales did not meet their expectations. More than half, 53 percent, of last year’s Black Friday shoppers admit that it’s likely they spent more than they saved, even though they shopped on what is often considered the year’s best day for retail deals.    
Of those consumers who went Black Friday shopping last year, 30 percent now admit that Black Friday wasn’t worth their time. What’s more, the survey also revealed that 27 percent of those who shopped on Black Friday last year wish they would have stayed home instead.
On average, Black Friday shoppers, according to the survey, spent $136 dollars on non-gift items over the course of the day on items such as gasoline, babysitters, food and parking. Consumers may not have accounted for such expenses in their holiday budgets, but those additional costs to shop on Black Friday tally up quickly.
“Imagine – no driving, no lines, no babysitter needed and your budget stays intact,” said Victoria López-Negrete, Senior Vice President and GM, US Money Transfer Product Management, Western Union.
More than half of those surveyed, 52 percent, will give the gift of CASH this year because they think their family and friends can use it given the state of the economy.  That’s up sharply from last year’s 44 percent of consumers who felt the same way about gifting with cash.  
“No gift is as ‘one-size-fits-all’ as cash.  This year consumers are likely to take a more wallet-conscious and sanity-saving approach to Black Friday and skip it altogether by choosing to give CASH,” added López-Negrete.
“ Western Union simplifies holiday gift giving, helping consumers enjoy the sunrise from the comfort of their homes and avoid parking lot battles and department store disputes on Black Friday.”
To facilitate gift-giving solutions this holiday and help consumers be mindful of their budgets, Western Union is offering "$50 for $5." Consumers can send up to $50 to loved ones in the US for five dollars, or send a Western Union ® gift card with a personalized greeting card and voice message, available exclusively at www.westernunion.com.
With Western Union, consumers can also take part in 50 Days of Giving, a national campaign launched by Western Union and six-time Grammy-award winning recording artist, musician and actor John Legend to help raise charitable-giving awareness throughout the holiday season.
The campaign benefits the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, CARE, Mercy Corps, Save the Children and UNICEF. As part of the campaign, Western Union unveiled www.50daysofgiving.com, an online voting site designed to encourage consumers to take an active role in supporting one of those five charities this holiday season.  In addition to the initial $100,000 granted amongst the five charities, announced November 9, the organization with the most consumer votes submitted online by December 25 will receive an additional $150,000 grant from Western Union.
According to the same survey Western Union conducted, 66 percent of consumers plan to give to charities this holiday, while 36 percent believe it’s their duty to donate to philanthropic causes regardless of their personal financial situation.
The survey, commissioned by Western Union and conducted by Wakefield Research,polled 1,000 nationally representative American adults aged 18 years old and older between October 1 and October 6, 2010.
* The Western Union® Gift Card is issued by MetaBank™ pursuant to a license from Visa USA INC. MetaBank; Member FDIC. A $2.50 per month servicing fee applies after 12 consecutive months of non-use.
About Western Union
The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) is a leader in global payment services. Together with its Vigo, Orlandi Valuta, Pago Facil and Western Union Business Solutions branded payment services, Western Union provides consumers and businesses with fast, reliable and convenient ways to send and receive money around the world, to send payments and to purchase money orders. The Western Union, Vigo and Orlandi Valuta branded services are offered through a combined network of approximately 435,000 agent locations in 200 countries and territories. In 2009, The Western Union Company completed 196 million consumer-to-consumer transactions worldwide, moving $71 billion of principal between consumers, and 415 million business payments. For more information, visit www.westernunion.com.



Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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