News / Economy

Will Thanksgiving Shopping Binge Become Black Friday Hangover?

People shop inside a Target store during Black Friday sales in Brooklyn, New York, Nov. 29, 2013.
People shop inside a Target store during Black Friday sales in Brooklyn, New York, Nov. 29, 2013.
An early start to this year's U.S. holiday Shopping season may not necessarily ring-up bigger holiday sales for retailers. Eager to entice cautious consumers, especially with six fewer shopping days this year than in 2012, many retailers offered sales on Thanksgiving, traditionally a day for family, friends and football games.

Even Macy's flagship store in New York opened at 8 p.m., the first time ever on the American holiday. As a result, some U.S. shoppers may have hit malls and stores on Thanksgiving, rather than during the traditional “Black Friday” blitz.

By late morning, the number of shoppers in many stores more closely resembled a normal Saturday than the usual frenzied Black Friday kickoff to the holiday season. 

“It's a lot less than I thought,” said Alison Goodwin, from Horsham, Pennsylvania, who ventured to the Willow Grove Park mall the day after Thanksgiving in search of holiday gifts and maybe a treat for herself. “It's like any weekend in December,” Goodwin said of the size of the crowd.  

Terry Lundgren, Macy's Inc Chief Executive, said the Thanksgiving flagship Manhattan store opening lured an estimated 15,000 shoppers. Roughly 11,000 shoppers turned out at the store for last year's Black Friday midnight open.

“It's not just spreading out traffic over last year but it's also increasing it,” Lundgren said of the department store overall. He declined to say how much he expects the additional shopping to increase sales. 

The National Retail Federation is predicting that holiday sales will increase a marginal 3.9 percent to $602.1 billion, leaving retailers to battle for a bigger slice of that somewhat larger pie.

This year's holiday shopping results likely will mimic the slow-growing U.S. economy and leave little to write home about, said Can Erbil, an adjunct associate professor of economics at Boston College.

“Last year's shopping season was actually pretty bad. The Connecticut school shootings, Hurricane Sandy, and fiscal cliff fears really hit the shopping season hard. So the benchmark is low,” Erbil said.

Thanksgiving proved bright for one sliver of retail - online sales. Overall Thanksgiving online sales were up 19.7 percent from last year and the average order value was $127.59, according  to IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark.   

Early Black Friday turnout was thin at Willow Grove Park mall, in a Philadelphia suburb. Early morning shoppers included Emily Arkowitz and Ashlee Ryan, two friends on their first-ever Black Friday excursion and browsing at an H&M clothing store at 7:30 a.m. EST. 

“We walked in thinking that all the clothes would be gone,” said Arkowitz of Haverton, Pennsylania.

The store sold out of many specials, according to a manager, but many Black Friday deals were still advertised on clothing racks, including a $4.95 sweater and $14.95 dress.  

Turned off by crowds and last night's long lines at a nearby Abercrombie & Fitch, Pranav Trivedi, a shopper from Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, went home, napped, and returned early on Friday.

“I didn't want to waste my time like that,” he said. While shoppers snapped up sale priced flat-screen televisions at stores like Target, Walmart and Best Buy - not everyone was impressed by the “deals” being touted by retailers.    

For Luis Figueiro, a retired Brazilian on vacation in New York, Black Friday ended early. “This is madness,” he said, sitting in a massage chair, pointing at the crowd at Macy's flagship store on Thanksgiving night. There are so many people here, you can't see any of the things on sale.”

His wife, Irene, traveled with him from Rio with Black Friday deals in mind, but was disappointed to find that many items were not discounted.  

“If someone comes without a clear notion of prices, it awakens something in you. But if you know what the items usually cost, you aren't fazed,” she said. 

Wal-Mart Stores Inc U.S. Chief Executive Bill Simon said Thanksgiving visits to its stores surpassed last year's 22 million mark, although a swarm of online shoppers crashed its online site. 

“We are encouraged by the start to the Black Friday shopping weekend,” Simon told CNN.

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Comment Sorting
by: Mr. Walton from: USA
November 30, 2013 1:34 PM
The Department of Homeland Security is encouraging Americans to snitch on each other if they see anything “suspicious” at malls and shopping centres in New Hampshire this holiday season.

The agency is urging shop owners and shoppers to “report suspicious activity to local authorities”, as well as ramping up display propaganda, as part of its ‘If You See Something, Say Something’ campaign.

“At DHS, homeland security begins with hometown security. We’re all safer when everyone is alert and engaged…” an Orwellian sounding press release from the DHS states.

Several businesses have joined forces with the DHS to promote the snitch program, they include Mall of America, Walmart, Simon Property Group and the Building Owners and Managers Association.

Former DHS head Janet Napolitano announced an expansion of the ‘See Something…’ campaign into shopping centres in 2010.

The press release states that the overall purpose is to “raise public awareness of indicators of terrorism and terrorism-related crime, and to emphasize the importance of reporting suspicious activity to the proper local law enforcement authorities.”

The FBI is also taking part in the campaign, with the businesses also carrying out “training exercises”. It is not clear what the drills consist of.

“We have seen the value of public vigilance in thwarting terrorism and crime time and again, so remember: if you see something that doesn’t look right, report it to local authorities,” writes John Cohen, principal deputy under secretary of DHS for intelligence and analysis and counterterrorism coordinator.

“When we each do our part, we are working together to keep our nation safe, one hometown at a time.” the statement concludes.

As previously reported, the ‘See Something…’ campaign has been expanded to all walks of life in America beyond transport hubs, into malls, onto the streets and even into sports events.

For several years now, the DHS has been broadcasting eerie big brother style messages on huge TVs in Walmart at checkout lanes.

As also highlighted in the past, actually “saying something” to the DHS will pretty much land you in a bureaucratic nightmare. You’ll find it extremely difficult to get hold of a real person and will be pretty much shunted around between federal and local law enforcement.

While the DHS may not be that interested in hearing from people who have “seen something”, they are very interested in anyone who vocally opposes their stasi-style snitch campaign.

Last year hundreds of pages of documents released under the Freedom of Information Act revealed that the DHS went out of its way to monitor political opposition to the campaign, as well as tracking stories and user comments on a myriad of other issues while categorizing websites as “Right Wing Terrorism”.

It doesn’t seem to matter that you are more than a thousand times more likely to die in a car accident than in a terrorist attack. Regardless of the fact that Americans are more likely to die from a bee sting or drowning in the bath than from terrorism, people are suckers for government propaganda. If the government tells them terrorists are a threat, they usually believe it despite the fact dying or even getting injured in a terrorist attack is at best a remote possibility.

America in 2013 is all about being guilty until proven innocent and the complete evisceration of what the country is supposed to stand for in the pursuit of unobtainable “security”.

Well, with that, I'll be a part of the "see something, say something" campaign right now! I know for a FACT that the CIA is funding Al Qaeda from offshore banks, and the whole "war on terror" is PHONY!!!

by: LOST Nation from: USA
November 30, 2013 12:02 PM
We are a nation of empty people desperately looking for contentment in material things. Zombification of the general public in regard to our consumerist culture and being manipulated by the mass media and global elite to incite our primal animal instincts for products we don’t actually need are prevalent in the sick behaviors at local stores. If people act like this for a gadget you don't need, what will they act like when a staged food shortage by the regime inevitably happens? Rack up your credit card debt, and stand in line with a bunch of soul-less zombies that have lost all perspective on what is important and what is not. TRUTH IS TREASON IN THE AMERICAN EMPIRE OF MATERIALISM. Soon your Almighty dollar will be worth NOTHING, just wait.

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