Authored by Jon Mercer in Shopping
Published on 12-07-2008
Retailers across the nation have been slashing their prices and praying for long lines at the check-out for this year’s Black Friday sales event. Some merchants didn’t wait for Friday to begin offering deep discounts. Retail giant Macy’s was offering diamond earrings that regularly sell for $700 for only $249. Saks was offering a Marc Jacobs handbag that originally sold for $995 for just $248, and Ted Baker suits that sale for $895 were cut to $399 at Lord & Taylor.
These major discounts are a sign of the tough economic times and analyst expect that with our economy in peril, many retailers will be offering even deeper discounts in the weeks before one of the toughest Christmas seasons the US has had in decades. Also this season, there are five fewer shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, causing many stores to scramble to unload their holiday inventory by December 25th.
With Wal-Mart stores offering DVD’s for just $2 and a large flat-panel television for under $400, other retailers are in a sales frenzy trying to compete. For example, Toys “R” Us stores are having the biggest discounts in the company’s history, with fifty percent more “door busters” than last year, and the bargains are expected to increase as Christmas draws closer.
In fact, consumer analysts say that this trend in super price cuts may continue until some retailers begin to go out of business. Because Black Friday sales account for twenty-five to forty percent of most retailers annual sales, they will continue to cut prices right up to the point of having to close up shop for good.
Many stores opened their doors right after midnight Thursday night to begin their Black Friday sales; while other retailers opened at five A.M. in the hopes of getting a jump on the competition. According to Spending Pulse sales reports, Grocers are about the only retailers in the black this Black Friday due in part to the fact that our economy is causing more and more people to eat at home instead of dinning out.
Retailers are hoping for the best, but, according to a National Retail Federation survey, fewer people plan to do their shopping on Black Friday this year. As many as 128 million, down from about 135 million last year. In spite of the recent survey, retailers are still hopeful and are expecting profits to be huge for this years Black Friday sales events.