Area retailers hoping for strong Black Friday
Published 12:38 pm Friday, November 28, 2008
By CLAUD HODGES
With a lagging economy lurking on the horizon, local stores are opening their doors today, also known as Black Friday, with hopes of brisk sales to break their banks.
Black Friday is the Friday after Thanksgiving in the United States, and it is the typical benchmark that signals the start of the traditional Christmas shopping season.
Black Friday is not an official holiday, but many employees from non-retail jobs take the day off, which increases the number of potential shoppers for merchants today.
Many retailers open very early and offer doorbuster deals and loss leaders to draw people to their stores.
Although Black Friday, as the first shopping day after Thanksgiving, has served as the unofficial beginning of the Christmas season at least since the start of the modern Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924, the term Black Friday has been traced back only for about the last five decades.
Merchants have used Black Friday to refer to the beginning of the period in which they can enter into the black portion of their balance sheets; that is, the time period when they are able to enter their financial statements and see that their sales years are showing a profit.
Sometimes Black Friday turns out to be the busiest retail shopping day of the year; however, this is not always true. Sometimes stores do not have their busiest sales volume days until the few days before Christmas.
Early opening times by some stores in the local area are being used as drawing cards to bring early-bird shoppers to the stores.
Early sales cuts are being put up by some retailers to entice shoppers into their doors.
Extended hours are other means being offered to consumers to beckon them onto area sales floors.
All in all, a promotional blitz has been felt during the last few days by many area retailers who are seeking to capture what Christmas dollars are out there.
Black Friday is here and retailers should be able to use it as somewhat of a barometer of what sales may be like during the next four weeks before Christmas.