Busy shopping day gives retailers some hope

November 27, 2009 8:22:11 PM PST
Deep discounts and expanded hours lured holiday shoppers to stores on Black Friday, the day that's supposed to help retailers turn a profit for the year, putting black ink in the books.The doorbuster deals were long gone, but Black Friday shoppers were still out in force Friday evening along State Street.

With many retailers, including Macy's, staying open late, crowds of people have been making their way from store to store in search of the best bargains.

"I got a sweater that was originally $145 dollars for like $28," Patricia Bolanos said.

"I got great shoes. They were $50 dollars down to $17," Dandia Bolanos said.

The biggest deals of the day were definitely for the early birds. All across the area, people camped outside big box stores hoping to get huge markdowns on flat screen TVs and other electronics.

The outlet malls were also crowded. Traffic leading up to them overnight extended for miles. The question remains, will people continue to shop after today?

According to an ABC News poll, 50 percent plan to spend less this year, an average of $650 dollars, versus $700 in 2008.

"The economy is definitely impacting the way that we shop and the way that we spend our money these days," Allen Frazier said.

"I just had a baby. I'm not going back to work, so I have to cut down on expenses. I just want to get in here today while the sales are good and I'm not coming back later," Jay Idiodi said.

Retailers are listening. With consumer spending still weak and unemployment rising, many have cut back on inventory, hoping to avoid a repeat of last year's disastrous holiday season.

"This looks like it's going to be another difficult holiday season. Consumers have been taking their time, paying down debt and increasing savings," said Lori Wachs, Delaware Investments.

The ABC poll did have one silver lining for retailers. Seniors, wealthier Americans and women say they are not planning to cut back as much on their spending.


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