Holidays are just around the corner and retailers are busy planning for window displays and creating a festive atmosphere that will attract customers. Stocks, inventories, retail gift bags and gift wrapping materials are also being prepared to meet the influx of customers. National Retail Federation (NRF) predicts that retail sales will rise by a modest 3% during the holiday season this year and national sales are expected to reach the $630 billion mark.
The last two months of the year are expected to make up for 19% of the industry sales for 2015. In 2014, holiday shopping grew by 4.1% because people had more money to spend. During the recession, Black Friday deals were critical because it has a tremendous impact on the way people shopped. Consumers pinched pennies and tightened their belts and whatever money they had in their pockets were used smartly.
Retailers have to prepare for the two types of shoppers: those who are looking for good deals and those who are willing to pay more for convenience. It is 44 days to go before Black Friday and it is expected that plenty of people will stand in line at stores on Thanksgiving night. Shoppers will be waddling through the parking lots with their retail gift bags overflowing with purchases. However, many people will avoid shopping during holiday weekend and will opt to watch football instead from the comfort of their living rooms.
There are retailers like Staples, GameStop, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Burlington Coat Factory and Cosco that have decided not to open shop on Thanksgiving Day. For stores like Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus, this makes sense because it is very costly to have employees report on Thanksgiving. They are high end stores and their customers are not driven by sales.
For Staples and GameStop, they want their customers and employees to enjoy Thanksgiving but their stores will be open by 6 AM on Black Friday. This stance is to protect the family during an important holiday. Consumers do not have wait for the holidays to enjoy good deals on items they want. Now you can go to JC Penney or Best Buy and find slashed prices on a Saturday or Sunday.