Bargain-hungry shoppers eager for the best deals will crowd stores on Black Friday this year.
Analysts predict that retailers will top last year’s sales. Last year, they generated $11.4 billion in revenue, reports Chicago-based research firm ShopperTrak.
“More consumers are expecting more deals from retailers,” said Britt Beemer, CEO of Charleston, S.C.-based America’s Research Group. “Now it’s not just electronics purchase day, it’s any big purchase day.”
Beemer predicted that customers will buy TVs, laptops and video games during the shopping extravaganza. They'll also snap up items like discounted furniture and mattresses, he added.
Black Friday — the post-Thanksgiving launch to the holiday shopping blitz — is an extremely important occasion for retailers. If a customer shops at a store on Black Friday, there’s a 70 percent likelihood the shopper will return to the same store later in the season, Beemer said.
“If they don’t shop your store at all, you might not see them at all during the season,” Beemer said.
Beemer said the winners of this year’s Black Friday extravaganza will be Wal-Mart and Target. Walmart stores will open at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving night and Target plans to open its stores an hour later.
One of the losers on Black Friday, Beemer predicts, will be J.C. Penney Co. The retailer has reduced its sale promotions leading up to Black Friday. That's hurt its image among shoppers, he said.