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

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    First Human Head Transplant Planned for 2017

    Italian neurosurgeon, assisted by team of 100 medical staff, to perform 36-hour surgery on Russian man with debilitating muscle-wasting disease

    Biden Urges Global Focus on Cancer as a 'Constant Emergency'

    At Vatican conference on regenerative medicine, Vice president notes that cancer kills more than 3,000 people each day in US alone

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora