With Black Friday here, retailers are hoping for an improved shopping season compared to last year.
Named Black Friday for the day buyers help put businesses black in the accounting book’s “black”, the day after Thanksgiving has become part of the holiday ritual according to Audrey Guskey, a professor of marketing at Duquesne University.
“When you think about Black Friday, it is a tradition for many, many generations,” Guskey says. “You eat turkey and watch football on Thanksgiving and you shop on Friday. So if you check out the malls you will see people of all ages and all type shopping.”
Guskey says she expects to see an improvement upon the last 2 years when retail sales dropped 4% in 2008 and rose slightly in 2009...up just 4 tenths of a percent. She believes the better economy along with the itching of consumers to spend will likely raise the sales figure some two-to-three percent.
“We’ve had some good indications. Back to school shopping was fairly good, consumer confidence is coming back a little bit, the job market is increasing, so you have a lot of these indicators,” Guskey says. “In a lot of ways consumers are tired of being thrifty and conservative, they want to open their wallets and start spending.”
Guskey also says that retailers and consumers are getting shopping done before Black Friday, a trend that retailers have found to help their sales. She says that when shoppers do their shopping early, they often are tempted to go back again for more.
“If shoppers start shopping early they’re going to be spending more money because you hide it in the attic, you forget about it. By spreading your shopping over several weeks instead of several days it in a sense psychology doesn’t let the consumer understand that ‘Hey I spent all that money.
According to Guskey, there has also been a trend in shoppers using technology to find the best possible deals for the product they’re interested in buying. Guskey says buyers will use bar code scanning smartphones to determine if they can find a better deal somewhere else and that online shopping continues to grow. She expects an 8% increase in online purchasing this holiday season.