Watertown— The infamous Black Friday has been speculated to have dated before 1961 and the name “Black Friday” originated in Philadelphia when retailers there explained that they were “in the black” meaning, turning a profit.
In 2011, Black Friday and holiday shopping, consumers spent a record breaking $11.6 billion, up by 6.6 percent from 2010. According to Gallup’s Economic Index showed an average -11 in consumer confidence earlier in the week of November 11th, 2012. Between November 9-11, consumer confidence dropped to -14. Though, Gallup had an optimistic outlook on their consumer confidence research:
“The scores are the most favorable evaluations so far this year. In fact, this is the closest the component has come to reaching positive territory since the economic downturn. Forty-seven percent of Americans say the economy is getting better, while 49% say it is getting worse.”
The National Retail Federation (NRD) conducted a survey, which showed 51.4 percent of consumers this time last year had already begun shopping. This year, according to NRD research conducted by BIGinsight 52.8 percent of American shoppers have begun shopping early.
BIGinsight also recorded the leading stores in which most shoppers are gravitating towards; these stores grossed the highest returns for October:
“Walmart continues to lead across all categories featured in this month’s retail roundup, besting Kohl’s and Payless once again in Women’s Clothing and Shoes (respectively). Also in footwear: JC Penney wrangles its way back into a solo #5 position over Target, Macy’s, and Foot Locker. And, while Walmart holds the top spot in Toys, the competition might be a little tougher for Holiday ’12: Toys R Us and Amazon.com have both gained YOY customer share.”
Below is Biginsight’s recent chart on consumer spending and how people are changing the way they spend their money.
While consumer confidence may be down, it is expected not to impede holiday travel plans. According to AAA in the Western and Central New York areas, 43.6 million Americans are expected to travel for Thanksgiving. This is a 0.7 increase from last year’s holiday travel figures. This might be a trend that reflects that, although consumer confidence may not be high, holiday spending may continue to rise.
Beginning 11/23-12/24, some stores are choosing to advertise early. Kohl’s is having their “Operation Black Friday” opening their doors at 12 am. In every Kohl’s store, everyone can get a chance to win a chance for Kohl’s to pick up a select winner’s tab with their “Dream Receipt” program.
Office Depot is opening their doors at 5 am on Black Friday, with a prize of their own between 11/23-11/26. Office Depot is offering all customers making in-store or online purchases of $10 or more bounceback Mystery SurPrize coupons.
Electronics are always a huge part of the sales for Black Friday, as Best Buy will open their doors 12 am. However, they will hand out tickets to those standing in line 2 hours prior to their doors being opened.
For those that want avoid the crowds and do not feel like standing in line at 12 am on the 23rd, cyber Monday on November 26th is perfect. One can order gifts online and need not worry about fighting the crowds. Between cyber Monday and all the Black Friday sales, perhaps consumer spending will surpass consumer skepticism and the economy might see a boost around the holiday season.