- Iran mulls ban on vasectomies, decrease on abortions to bolster population
- CNN op-ed claims right-wingers ‘more deadly than jihadists’
- Classes resume at high school rocked by stabbings
- ABC News accuses Center for Public Integrity of stealing Pulitzer-winning work
- Law firm that cleared N.J. Gov. Christie in ‘Bridgegate’ gave 10K to RGA, which he heads
- PETA ‘hopping mad’ at Michelle Obama for using real eggs at Easter Egg Roll
- Sneaky Nebraska toddler traps self inside claw machine game
- Biden to lead $600 million work force training effort
- Atheists’ Easter taunt to Christians: ‘Jesus is a myth’
- Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas City show
Holiday sales encouraging, but are shoppers done?
Cyber Monday got its name from the National Retail Federation when computer shopping was starting to become popular. People returning to work after the holiday weekend would shop online on office computers. As more homes got high-speed Internet service, Cyber Monday became less of a factor.
This year, shoppers’ approach to the holidays has shifted, shaped by retailers. Black Friday is still expected to be the busiest day of the year, but spending was pulled forward as stores from Best Buy to Sears promoted discounts earlier in the month. They often pitched them as “Black Friday doorbusters” weeks before the real thing. More stores opened on Thanksgiving this year, too.
“You are going to have to look at the overall month, instead of just Black Friday,” said Laura Gurski, retail practice leader at A.T. Kearney.
Lauren Beckley, a 28-year-old retail co-manager in Cincinnati, said she got a promotion at work this year but still plans to cut her holiday spending by 50 percent. This year, rather than scrambling at the last minute, she started shopping in July, taking advantage of “Christmas in July” promotions that were embraced by more retailers this year.
“I think I am bargain hunting a little more,” said Ms. Beckley while browsing for DVDs at a Best Buy in suburban Cincinnati on Saturday.
Stores hope to keep shoppers coming back with continual deals and early-morning events on weekends. But some industry analysts question whether the lull between Thanksgiving weekend and the days before Christmas will be even more pronounced than usual.
“I believe customers will be waiting for the next round of deals,” Ms. Gurski added.
Stifel Nicolaus analyst Richard Jaffe described the weekend as a “success.”
“I think retailers have won the battle of driving customers into the stores, but have they won the war? We won’t know until January,” he said.
Amy Adoniz, general store manager at Best Buy’s Union Square store in New York, reported steady traffic through the weekend after the frenzy Friday. The best sellers have been TVs and laptop computers, but shoppers also are throwing in extra items such as Blu-ray players and cables that they hadn’t planned, she said. They’re also springing for more expensive items, she said.
Mall operators Taubman Centers Inc. and Macerich Co. both reported sales and traffic gains compared with last year, and traffic remained steady through the weekend. Both reported that shoppers’ buying for themselves remained strong. Footwear and clothing were big sellers.
Analysts are also watching stores’ inventories. Earlier this fall, many retailers worried they had ordered too much holiday merchandise in the spring when the economy appeared to be strengthening.
There was scattered evidence those worries continue. Gap offered 50 percent discounts throughout its stores until 10 a.m. Friday, rather than discounting fewer items to draw shoppers.
Dana Telsey, CEO of Telsey Advisory Group, said Sunday that she believed inventories were appropriate and retailer profits aren’t in danger yet. Dec. 15-24, which accounts for 40 percent of holiday business, will tell the tale.
“It’s the crux of the season,” she said.
TWT Video Picks
By returning to Christian roots, the nation can achieve greatness once again
- 'Culture of intimidation' seen in Nevada ranch standoff
- GOP writes legislation to deny Attorney General Eric Holder his salary
- Secret U.S. assessments show Afghanistan not ready to govern on own
- Fuel-filled wings, ability to swarm: Pentagon offers glimpse at future of drone fleet
- CARSON: Recovering Tocqueville's vision of American exceptionalism
- Atheists rush to stage Easter display: 'Jesus Christ is a myth'
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- Nevada Bundy ranch standoff could leave dirt on Harry Reid reputation
- EDITORIAL: Intolerance at Brandeis silences Muslim dissident Hirsi Ali
- Kirsten Dunst: Actress sparks feminist ire: 'You need a man to be a man'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.