Current Weather
The Spy FM

Holiday Sales Have Strong Start, Will The Trend Continue?

Filed by KOSU News in Business.
November 28, 2011

The news that the holiday shopping season got a strong start on its unofficial launch day — Black Friday — has helped push stock index futures up sharply this morning.

After all, if American consumers are indeed feeling good this holiday season, that would be very welcome news for an economy still struggling to produce jobs. Stronger demand, in theory, should eventually put pressure on businesses to add to their workforces.

But — and there’s always a but when it comes to stories about the economy — it’s probably best to hold off on drawing too many conclusions from the first big shopping weekend.

“One swallow does not a holiday season make. After the deepest recession in decades, the solid Black Friday weekend is welcome news, but we’re only in the second quarter of a long playoff game,” Craig Johnson, president of consulting firm Customer Growth Partners, tells Reuters.

It’s also possible, analysts say, that many shoppers did most if not all of their holiday shopping already — they may have effectively “borrowed” from future spending.

The National Retail Federation says “a record 226 million shoppers visited stores and websites over Black Friday weekend, up from 212 million last year. … The average holiday shopper spent $398.62 this weekend, up [9.1 percent] from $365.34 last year. Total spending reached an estimated $52.4 billion.”

The federation adds that “additionally, shoppers also checked out retailers’ deals online, spending an average of $150.53 on the web — 37.8 percent of their total weekend spending.”

Speaking of online shopping, today is the so-called Cyber Monday — when retailers try to get us to open our virtual wallets to score some online deals. Detroit Free Press columnist Mark W. Smith this morning takes a look at the “myth of Cyber Monday.” [Copyright 2011 National Public Radio]

Leave a Reply

5AM to 9AM Morning Edition

Morning Edition

For more than two decades, NPR's Morning Edition has prepared listeners for the day ahead with two hours of up-to-the-minute news, background analysis, commentary, and coverage of arts and sports.

Listen Live Now!

9AM to 10AM The Takeaway

The Takeaway

A fresh alternative in morning news, "The Takeaway" provides a breadth and depth of world, national and regional news coverage that is unprecedented in public media.

View the program guide!

10AM to 11PM On Point

On Point

On Point unites distinct and provocative voices with passionate discussion as it confronts the stories that are at the center of what is important in the world today. Leaving no perspective unchallenged, On Point digs past the surface and into the core of a subject, exposing each of its real world implications.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center