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The holiday shopping season began on "Black Friday" when Bargain hunters shopped for discounted merchandise. Sales shot up by 9% this year.
We won’t get the final numbers for another couple weeks, but it looks like this has been an excellent Christmas season for retailers. The National Retail Federation even upped their original projection from a rise of 2.8% to 3.8%.
It all started with November’s Black Friday with more shoppers spending more this year than last. And shopping frenzy hasn’t stopped. Yesterday and today are shaping up to be some of the biggest shopping days of the year.
Retailers are doing whatever they can to keep the customers in the stores. They’re staying open for days on end (Toys R Us stayed open for 112 hours straight) and offering unbelievable discounts, especially now that Christmas is over. Today some retailers are offering 75 to 90% off regular prices. And that’s a trend that we’ve seen all season. Retailers are sharply discounting goods, which attracts customers but may affect their bottom line.
So, who are the winners this season? Retailers who got customers to the stores? Or consumers who benefited from great prices? What do these numbers really mean? Is consumer confidence up? Is YOUR consumer confidence up? Did you spend more this holiday season? If so why?
Lynn Franco, Director, The Conference Board Consumer Research Center