"Consumers today want more than just the discounts they've been showered with since the start of the recession; they want exclusive offerings and a good reason to spend their discretionary budgets," NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a press release. "We could witness a sea change this holiday season as consumers' reliance on extremely deep discounts over the biggest shopping weekend of the year shifts to more of a 'wait- and-see' mentality around what retailers will be offering on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday. We are positive retailers have a few tricks up their sleeve that will draw their customers to their stores and websites, deciding the deals are worth it after all."
Discounts will be steep, as retailers do their best to stand out in an increasingly crowded field, analysts predict. In its analysis of Black Friday deals, personal-finance social network WalletHub reports that the overall average discount is about 39 percent. The group says that JCPenney has the highest overall discount rate among the retailers it surveyed, at 65 percent. Macy's came in second, with an average discount of 54 percent.