News / USA

Holiday Shopping Rush Begins in US

Hundreds of early-morning shoppers get in line the night before hoping to snag a deal on Black Friday at Best Buy in Atlanta, 26 Nov 2010
Hundreds of early-morning shoppers get in line the night before hoping to snag a deal on Black Friday at Best Buy in Atlanta, 26 Nov 2010

Multimedia

Shoppers turned out in large numbers on Friday, looking for bargains as the traditional holiday shopping season kicked off in the United States. Falling the day after the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S., the day is widely known as Black Friday because it is the day when retailers often start moving into the black, the common term for making a profit. American consumers wasted no time, some camping for hours to get the best deals.

They came in droves, rushing into stores like this one in the southern U.S. state of North Carolina at midnight - to take advantage of deep discounts on toys and electronics.

The National Retail Federation expects nearly 140 million shoppers will shop at stores in the United States over the weekend.  That's four million more than last year - the strongest showing since 2006.Industry analyst Marshal Cohen attributes higher turnout to what he calls frugality fatigue.

"Frugal fatigue definitely has set in.  The consumer's gotten tired of living in this no-spend cocoon that they've been in for a while and they're starting to dabble in buying products both for themselves as well as those on the list," he said.

And after years of declining sales, Cohen says retailers are getting smarter, offering bigger discounts, earlier in the season. "What's really going on is that retailers are trying to race for space," he said. "The pie of holiday shopping isn't going to get much bigger so that means that what they're trying to do is beat each other to the punch and retailers now have finally recognized, the stores are saying, you know, 'We are competing against online retail. We are competing against network shopping. We have to be open more often when the consumer wants to shop.'"

And shoppers are paying attention.  Many say they're shopping smarter, looking for the best advertised specials before hitting the stores early.

But for casual shoppers, retail analysts warn the best deals won't last long. "Retailers are not heavily inventoried this year. They've been very conservative so that means that they're really not going to get a lot of extra merchandise waiting for the consumer to come in at the end. They're going to try to move as much as they can early on," said Cohen.

Analysts say flat screen TVs could be among the biggest sellers this year as manufacturers and retailers clear out inventories. Online sales could also see a big bump with sales forecast to top last year's numbers by 30 percent.

Despite a solid start, economists say spending remains below pre-recession levels.  Shoppers say they're cautious about spending too much with unemployment numbers remaining very high at 9.6 percent.

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More