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.
    Reuters
    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.

    You May Like

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    Factions Shift as Civilians Die in Syrian War

    Scenario likely only to further confuse military situation on ground and potentially worsen humanitarian crisis that already has grown to epic proportions

    Presidential Hopefuls Woo Minorities, Evangelicals

    Four GOP candidates to speak at forum at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    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.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    World Currencies

    EUR
    USD
    0.8869
    JPY
    USD
    112.70
    GBP
    USD
    0.6894
    CAD
    USD
    1.3922
    INR
    USD
    68.241

    Rates may not be current.