After Thanksgiving, Americans Pursue Another Tradition — Shopping

People enter Macy's Herald Square store after opening its doors at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day in New York City. Kena Betancur/Getty Images

People enter Macy’s Herald Square store after opening its doors at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day in New York City. Kena Betancur/Getty Images

Black Friday — the day on which Christmas shopping starts in earnest for many Americans — may have started on Thanksgiving Day this year, but it gave many shoppers extra time to hunt for deals.

NPR’s Sonari Glinton spoke to shoppers in Colorado Springs, Colo., where people were camped out Thursday to get deals at the local Target.

“Do you think I need sweaters at Kohl’s? No!” Janine Reed said. “But they’re 10 bucks. You think I’m going to get one? Yeah – just ‘cos.”

Shoppers in Rome, Ga., lined up at the mall well before 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving for deals on footwear. Georgia Public Broadcasting’s Joshua Stewart filed this report for our Newscast unit:

“Mount Berry Square Mall opened at 8 p.m., the earliest ever for the shopping center 70 miles northwest of Atlanta. Mall operations manager Tricia Dillard says shoppers beat her to work last night.

“‘I pulled up to the mall around 6 p.m., and when I pulled up, Belk already had a line going around the building. So they were here before I was here.’

“Dillard says the Belk store was selling $20 boots and giving away gift cards to the first 200 or so shoppers. She says shoppers seemed to have more stamina this year — the mall was packed until about 2 a.m. That’s the same time things quieted down last year, but then the mall didn’t open until midnight.”

In Alexandria, Va., Zena Seymour did some of her shopping at the Toys R Us. “For me it worked out. … I feel bad for the employees that obviously have to work,” she said.

Black Friday is the day that retailers traditionally go “into the black” as stores across the nation offer massive discounts to lure shoppers. But as Sonari reports, the deals and door buster sales keep getting earlier and earlier each year — and that’s actually beginning to cut into profits:

” ‘It’s actually becoming almost like something that [stores] are obligated to do,’ says Marshal Cohen, the chief retail analyst with the MPD group.

“He says retailers are kind of between a rock and a hard place because expanding the season kind of ends up hurting them. ‘In many cases, they’re doing so much business that provides very little margin, that they’re really not generating enough business to really be worthwhile anymore.’

“Cohen says he believes that retailers and consumers are going to come to their senses — eventually.”

Last year, shoppers spent $810 million on the day of Thanksgiving alone. Overall, early indications are that spending is up from a year ago — but not sharply, according to Steve Beckner of Market News International.

“Rising stock prices and low interest rates will favor holiday sales of upper-end consumers,” but others have job fears, said Richard Curtin, director of the University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Survey.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit
Read original article – Published November 29, 2013 7:57 AM
After Thanksgiving, Americans Pursue Another Tradition — Shopping

Recent headlines

  • dollar bill money macro

    Per diems driving special session costs

    Lawmakers who represent areas outside Juneau receive $295 for each day of the special session. Juneau lawmakers receive $221.25 per day.
  • Caroline Hoover proudly pins an Alaska Territorial Guard medal on the front of her father's parka during an official discharge ceremony held Oct. 17 in Kipnuk, Alaska. David Martin is one of three surviving members of the Alaska Territorial Guard's Kipnuk unit. A total of 59 residents of Kipnuk, who volunteered to defend Alaska in the event of a Japanese invasion during World War II, were recognized during the ceremony. Kipnuk residents who served with the Alaska Territorial Guard from 1942-1947 were members of a U.S. Army component organized in response to attacks by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor. (Photo by Jerry Walton, Department of Military and Veterans Affairs cultural resource manager and native liaison/public domain/Wikimedia Commons)

    16 Alaska Territorial Guard vets to be honored in Anchorage

    Sixteen veterans of the Alaska Territorial Guard will be honored at a discharge ceremony today. Four of them are from Western Alaska.
  • Don Andrew Roguska looks out from an upstairs window of an historic Juneau house he bought in 2016 to restore. Zoning regulations have prevented him from rebuilding in the same style. (Photo by Jacob Resneck/KTOO)

    Juneau mulls relaxing zoning rules for historic houses

    The historic houses in Juneau and Douglas were predominately built by miners and fishermen long before today's zoning was put into place. That's prevented homeowners from restoring or rebuilding homes in these neighborhoods without running into conflict with the city's zoning laws -- a temporary fix may be on the way.
  • Young joins Afghanistan war skeptics in Congress

    Alaska U.S. Rep. Don Young wants to know why Americans are still fighting in Afghanistan. He has co-sponsored a bill that would end funding for the war in a year, unless the president and Congress affirm the need for it.