Retailers Buoyed by Strong Holiday Start
Sunday November 25, 9:37 pm ET
By Anne D'Innocenzio, AP Business Writer
Retailers Have a Strong Start to the Holiday Shopping Season, but Shoppers Need to Keep Buying
NEW YORK (AP) -- The nation's shoppers set aside worries about higher gas prices and a slumping housing market and proved their resilience over the Thanksgiving weekend, giving what the nation's merchants wished for -- a strong start to the holiday shopping season.
Stores and malls opened the season as early as midnight, drawing bigger-than-expected crowds Friday for discounted flat-panel TVs, digital cameras and toys such as all things related to Disney Channel's "Hannah Montana." Strong sales continued through Saturday, according to one research group that tracks total sales at retail outlets across the country.
I'm puzzled by something. I know my buying habits don't necessarily mirror the average, but I've heard a lot of people expressing the same thought. I think that so far I've probably spent about as much as I had by this time last year, but I think I've bought twice as much stuff for the money.
Like I mentioned the other day, part of this is because I've had the time to do a lot of comparison shopping, but the "deals" haven't been that hard to find. So I'm wondering how factors like this will affect the year's bottom line for retailers. I'm guessing that they're going to be able to end the year claiming it was one of the best ever based on gross revenue, but will their profit sheets show it?
Don't get me wrong...I'm not complaining! With a gift list like mine, I'm cheering for all the great Amazon deals and all the sites that are offering 20% off plus free shipping. My dollars are going a lot farther! I'm just wondering if all the hype about such a strong holiday for the economy will hold when the effects of the "desperation sales" are factored in....