New York—Black Friday is only two weeks away, one of the most crucial and biggest sales day of the year for retailers. (Though with nearly all major retailers opening on Thanksgiving, “Black Friday Creep” may convert the holiday into yet another crucial holiday shopping day).
Despite the hoopla around Black Friday and Cyber Monday, there’s apprehension about this holiday season for many retailers. While Macy’s Inc. and Dillard’s reported this week that their third quarter earnings did better than expected, Walmart and Kohl’s warned of the “competitive retail environment” for fourth quarter (holiday) and lowered their earnings forecasts.
‘No Very Large Rebound’
Concerns again center around consumer confidence especially in the Middle Class. While unemployment has edged down, consumers continue to pull back on discretionary spending. And of course, the budget battles and stalemate in Washington may have been pushed back—into the tail end of the holiday season—consumers are focused on bargains, discounts and sticking to their smaller budgets.
“Consumer confidence is an important aspect to retail,” Walmart CEO Bill Simon told The New York Times. “I think until the issues are resolved that are making news these days, we’re not going to see a very large rebound in the middle of the economy and in consumer confidence.”
The National Retail Federation released some positive news about holiday spending, however. Although consumers plan to spend a little less than last year, the merchandise they most likely will be shopping for is clothing and clothing accessories. Indeed, 60.7% of shoppers say they will splurge on fashion, apparel and accessories.
Read about what else consumers will likely shop for on Black Friday and beyond below. Along with other important news that made this week’s Top 10: