Eager shoppers began their quest to find the best deals by mid-afternoon on Thanksgiving Day. Working crews in New York City had not finished cleaning up the streets after the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, yet many lines were forming to be the first to get at the early Christmas offering sales. “Gray Thursday” offers a shopper the opportunity to get at retail deals prior to Black Friday. The largest shopping weekend of the year continues to begin earlier as each year passes. Retail sales on the year have been lackluster at best, yet the economic outlook continues to brighten for most, namely with consumer confidence increasing, and the continued decrease in gasoline prices.
Deep discounted prices are luring in shoppers from all areas. In Chicago, Old Navy promoted a 50 percent off of everything in their entire store, and in Manchester, Iowa, Walmart had shoppers waiting on a $329 Xbox bundle that included Halo the Master Chief. Retailers are doing everything they can to get consumers to spend their money. The hope is that the volume deals being offered can increase their net income, despite the lower profit margins due to the lowering of prices.
Shopping online continues to make up a larger share of a retailer’s holiday sales every year. Black Friday sales have been offered from many days now. Amazon continues to do a good job of out-pricing it competitors, namely on bigger ticket items like televisions. However, not all are happy about the earlier deals being offered. Namely, workers in Wal-Mart and Target, who have petitioned to stop the retailers from opening on Thanksgiving Day. Yet the dollars brought in cannot be ignored. Sales are expected to jump by three to five percent to $2.57 billion to @2.62 billion on Thanksgiving Day. Yet overall, the number of shoppers will drop a bit versus last year to 25.6 million.