Black Friday- a shoppers delight

CNNMoney reports that experts expect fewer shoppers this year for Black Friday. According to the industry trade group the National Retail Federation, there will be an estimated 147 million shoppers, down from the 220 million who braved the weather, crowds and early morning to save money with store incentives and early bird deals last year.

Experts expect fewer shoppers because Americans, many of whom are out of work, are still reeling from news that America is facing not only an economic slowdown but also the looming news of the fiscal cliff and rise of taxes at the end of the year. Who believes the divided Congress will be able to deal with any significant issues in less than two months- no one.

Additionally, other shoppers, such as those in the Northeast, are still fighting to get the basics for living after Superstorm Sandy and have not prioritized holiday shopping.

But does this mean that retailers have given up pulling shoppers into their stores as early as possible? No, stores throughout the United States such as Wal-Mart, Kmart, Target and Best Buy have adopted new coupon matching strategies, and electronic coupons. They have also brought back the tried and true by allowing consumers to use layaway to make large purchases.

Black Friday will also begin earlier than usual this year. As stores battle for the first shoppers many have started opening on Thursday, just as most of us are finishing our dinners and settling in to rest and relax with our families. According to reports, “Toys R Us and Wal-Mart will be the first to open their doors for bargain hunters at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 22.”

Why is Black Friday so important? It marks the beginning of the holiday season and can generate up to 40% of a store’s annual sales.

The biggest draw for Black Friday shoppers will be electronics and toys. If you want the season’s hottest toys like Hasbro’s Furby and Hot Wheel’s Power Wheels Dune Racer you better get their early. Many stores are offering high discounts on such items, if you’re lucky enough to find them.

Although many shoppers complain about the long lines and the hassle of the hunt, in a weird way it is a strong tradition, despite the rise of online shopping, and continues to draw huge crowds. A tradition many shoppers are not willing to give up.

What else can we expect on Black Friday: A potential protest at Wal-Mart, the nation’s biggest retailer. Wal-Mart is downplaying the protest, contending that if it does occur it will comprise only a handful of the over 1.3 million workers employed by the mega-retailer.

Protestors, organized by the union-backed group OUR Walmart, will ask the country’s largest employer to negotiate better pay, fairer schedules and affordable health care for its workers.

Wal-Mart has publically tweeted, “Don’t believe everything you read in the union press releases. We don’t think their Black Friday activity will have an impact on customers.”

So although many shoppers complain about the long lines and the hassle of the hunt, in a weird way it is a strong tradition, despite the rise of online shopping. Unfortunately, it is starting to squeeze out the true meaning of the holiday: a time to celebrate with loved ones and thank God for the blessings we have in this wonderful country.

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Beth L. is a content writer for Better Bankruptcy. Good content and information is one of many methods we utilize to bring you the answers you need.