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

Photogallery South Africa Bans Travelers From Ebola-stricken Countries

South Africans returning from affected West African countries will be thoroughly screened, required to fill out medical questionnaire, health minister says More

Multimedia UN Launches ‘Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years’ in Iraq

Move aims to help thousands of Iraqi religious minorities who fled their homes as Kurdish, Iraqi government forces battle Sunni insurgents More

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

IT specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about disease More

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.
Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbasi
X
Scott Stearns
August 21, 2014 9:20 PM
The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7492
JPY
USD
102.27
GBP
USD
0.5960
CAD
USD
1.0950
INR
USD
61.300

Rates may not be current.