Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday Sales Pay Off for Retailers

At Los Angeles Times, "Early Black Friday sales appear to pay off for retailers."

An early kickoff to the holiday shopping season appeared to pay off for retailers, who bet correctly that extended late-night hours would draw even more bargain hunters to the annual Black Friday extravaganza.

The shopping frenzy, although marred by a pepper spray incident at a San Fernando Valley Wal-Mart, bodes well for increased consumer spending as the year draws to a close. It would be the latest in a series of modest improvements to an economy still trying to shake free from the lingering effects of the devastating recession of 2007-09.

"People have had so many years of recession that they want to spend money and feel good about themselves," said Ron Friedman, a retail expert at advisory and accounting firm Marcum in Los Angeles. "And many people have set money aside and are paying off their credit cards more, so people can spend a little bit more than last year."

This is a make-or-break season for retailers, and they pulled out the stops. Wal-Mart rolled out some of its sale items to shoppers at 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Other major chains including Target, Best Buy, Macy's and Kohl's all opened at midnight for the first time.
RELATED: From Reuters, "Midnight Black Friday start likely to become norm."