News / USA

US Holiday Shopping Season off to Good Start

Multimedia

Early indications show the holiday shopping season in the United States is off to a promising start.  The National Retail Federation says the number of Americans who visited stores and websites during the so called "Black Friday" holiday weekend was up significantly from last year.  Retailers are hoping the online equivalent, called Cyber Monday, turns out to be just as successful - as the crucial holiday shopping season gets underway.

The holiday shopping season shifted into high gear over the American holiday weekend with over 200 million shoppers taking advantage of deep discounts and extended shopping hours. The National Retail Federation says that is nine percent higher than last year.  Investment analyst Lori Wachs says not only were there more shoppers, they also spent more money.

"The consumer is starting to feel better," she said. "They're spending on discretionary items such as jewelry and even on themselves."

Black Friday is considered a turning point for retailers because it marks the day of the year when their stores start moving into the black - the common term for making a profit.
Terry Lundgren, the chief executive at Macy's department store, says the strong showing this year is vital to a healthy economy.

"Retail and restaurants represent one in five jobs in America," he said. "So if we do well, we grow, then we're going to be the ones that will start to lead us into a recovery and out of the difficulty that we've had in terms of job hiring, unemployment and all of those challenging issues that relate to that."

The retail federation says American shoppers spent an average $365 over the holiday weekend - about $20 more than they did last year.   

That bodes well for Cyber Monday, when retailers expect more than 100 million shoppers will scour the Internet looking for deals.

Online sales are expected to top last year's numbers by 30 percent.

Steve Yankovich, who heads eBay's mobile division, says today's technology allows consumers to shop from home, at work or even by phone.

"We walk around with a [shopping] mall in our hand," he said. "I've got prices in my hand, I've got options in my hand as I'm in a particular retailer's brick and mortar store, and that's different.'

Consumer spending is the biggest driver of the U.S. economy, accounting for about 70 percent of economic activity.
But signs that American shoppers are spending more did little to bolster investor confidence - as continued worries about the European debt crisis put a damper on stock prices.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Secret Service Head: Breach Won't Happen Again

Julia Pierson tells a House panel investigating a recent intrusion at the White House: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid