Monday, December 05, 2005


The Holiday Shopping Season 2005

Black Friday Sales Bring Early Rising Shoppers Into Stores

Bargains Online: The Cyber Monday Tradition Starts With Discounts

With the 2005 holiday shopping season well under way, lots of shoppers are trying new methods to get the season's latest trends while others are sticking to their traditional ways. In a CBS report, National Retail Federation spokesperson Scott Krugman said, "This is the most promotional Black Friday we have seen." Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving and traditionally the first shopping day of the Holiday season.

CBS news reported that major retailers including Wal-Mart, Sears, and Macy's all estimated that they drew larger crowds this year than last. However, Michael Niemia, Chief economist at the International Council of shopping Center, told MSNBC, "There was a lot of hype, a lot of promotions and lot of people, but the results were on the lukewarm side." MSNBC reported that the nation's retailers had a good start as shoppers jammed stores for early bird specials, but as the weekend wore on so did the shopper's interests. According to ShopperTrak RCT Corp, a sales monitoring firm, sales from a year ago fell about 0.5 percent to $13.4 billion.

Shoppers who missed the Black Friday sales, logged onto their computers at work for "Cyber Monday” according to TIME. This Monday after the holiday weekend is the official start of the online shopping season. Web hosting firm Akamai Technologies said traffic on online shopping sites increased 35 percent. According to a TIME report, comparison shopping search engines that show shoppers where to find the best bargain are very popular this year. In fact, these sites had 54.7 million visitors in October alone., and are among the most popular of these sites according to TIME.

An MSNBC report showed non-travel online retail sales rose 22 percent to $1.89 billion for the holiday weekend. These sales grew 29 percent from Black Friday last year. Coupons found online, according to a TIME report allow shoppers to browse various offers from specific retailers and then link right to that retailer's is one of these sights that this season's savvy shoppers are using. Yahoo! shopping reported that the number of visitors on its site rose 52 percent on Black Friday, better than the 30 percent jump it expected. For shoppers who prefer to go to a physical store but use the net as a guide can visit A Time article reported this site lets shoppers locate items they’re looking for in a 10-mile radius and there definitely are trends this holiday season.

Toys R Us Inc. spokesperson Kathleen Waugh said in an MSNBC report that some of this season’s most popular items are Mattel Inc.’s Barbie Fashion Mall and MGA’s Bratz doll styling head. CBS News reported consumer electronics like MP3 players, laptop computers, and flat-screen televisions are among the most sought-out items with holiday shoppers this season. According to Marshal Cohen, a senior industry analyst at NPD Group, apparel has also been doing well as parts of the country are experiencing very cold weather already. Terry Lundgren, chairman, president and chief executive of Federated Department Stores told CBN News in a report, “I have also seen a lot of bags. Hot items included cashmere sweaters, down comforters, and scarves.” With plenty of trends hitting the stores, all shoppers are looking for one thing; and that’s a bargain. However, with some of these great bargains came trouble that wasn’t great.

In a CBS report a woman and a thirteen year old girl were injured at a Wal-Mart in Cascade Township MI when several people stepped on her as they pushed themselves into the store as it opened. At another Wal-Mart in Florida, shoppers wrestled a man to the floor where he allegedly cut in line to buy a laptop computer according to WFTV-TV. The retailer, according to MSNBC suffered in the 2004 Holiday season by not offering enough discounts. However, according to news reports by all stations, these discounts have seemed to pay off this year. Gail Lavielle, a Wal-Mart spokeswoman, told CBS News, “We were pleased. We thought people did come to us first.”

CBS News reported that shoppers this season are cautious. Gasoline prices are on the rise as well as higher costs to heat homes. Meredith Carter took the first line in spot outside a Super Target in North Carolina around 4:50 AM on Black Friday. Her statement pretty much sums up shoppers feelings this shopping season. Carter told CBS, “I just plan to get what I want and go home.”

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