Thursday, 15 November, 2012 11:49 PM
their hours for Black Friday; layaway making a comeback
BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com
waiting in line for the Midnight Madness opening at Premium Outlets
ANGELES -- Black Friday is just around the corner on Nov.
23. Small business Saturday will take place on the following day
and then Cyber Monday follows on Nov. 26. Many brick-and-mortar
retailers have said they will open their doors earlier this year
and will remain open for a longer period of time. In addition, online
retailers are expected to offer free shipping to everyone in addition
to their deep discounts. Layaway is making a return at several stores
this holiday shopping season. The average consumer is expected to
spend $750 over Black Friday weekend, according to the National
no question that retailers are planning to roll out some of the
best deals of the year this Thanksgiving weekend," said Kathy
Grannis, a spokeswoman for the National Retail Federation (NRF).
"We're expecting great deals on everything from apparel to
electronics to even some of the year's hottest toys. We already
know that people are gearing up and mapping out their strategies
as we speak. The average person will spend about $750 on holiday
merchandise. That includes decorations and food and of course, gifts.
That is up slightly from about $740 last year."
seeing a lot of early Black Friday sales such as the day before
Thanksgiving or up to a week before in the case of Staples.
are many companies in recent years who have really taken it to a
new level with their big Thanksgiving Day/weekend promotions,"
she added. "More and more we continue to hear about companies
who want to open late on Thanksgiving Day. This is actually a direct
result of customer demand. There are millions of people out there
we know and according to the surveys we conduct, that love to shop
at night on Thanksgiving Day and sleep in Friday. When it comes
to the other early, promotions and the ones leading up to the big
weekend, it really is only one true weekend that consumers can expect
the best deals possible. I think the ones leading up to it certainly
also bring in a ton of attention and excitement as well."
spokeswoman said many retailers will open their doors earlier on
Black Friday and remain open longer than last year.
companies will open as early as 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day,"
Grannis explained. "With that, they will continue to stay open
through Black Friday with maybe a few hours of break in between.
This is a new trend. We've seen this in the last couple of years
only. It does seem to be a very big hit with shoppers to want to
shop late on Thanksgiving Day and maybe sleep in on Saturday instead
of waking up at the crack of dawn."
Tanger Outlet malls will be opening at 10 p.m. while Premium Outlet
malls will open at midnight with select stores opening earlier on
openings at outlet malls are very popular with holiday shoppers,"
she said. "Again, this does seem to be the trend. People shopping
late instead of waking up early. It remains to be seen if we will
continue to see this trend down the road in years to come. There's
no question that outlet stores across the country who do open at
midnight will see their fair share of shopping traffic."
economy is supposed to be a little better than last year. How will
that affect shoppers?
economy is still top of mind for many people," the spokeswoman
added. "Even though we are in a slightly better place than
we have been in recent years. This year, half of Americans say the
economy is still going to impact their spending plans for the holiday
season. That does continue to increase. We are seeing improvements
in key government data. Overall, I think people have a better grasp
of their finances and of their financial stability. They know that
it's important to still stick to a budget and really set their family's
expectations on how much their family is going to spend on gifts.
People have been really creative in terms of finding ways to cut
corners, but still find great ways to celebrate the holiday with
their friends and family."
like Kmart and Walmart have brought back their layaway programs.
Do you think it is having a revival?
continues to be very popular with holiday shoppers," Grannis
explained. "Yes, in recent years, a few companies have decided
to bring it back after having gotten rid of it. It is a great way
for families to spread out their spending. It also keeps the kids
from snooping throughout the house if there's a hot holiday toy
that mom and dad bought. It certainly keeps kids from finding that
gift in the closet. We do know, just from talking to retailers,
that their shoppers really do find it a value."
announced it will be matching prices this holiday season for the
first time ever.
matching is a big theme this year," she said. "We are
hearing that it is a result of retailers trying to integrate the
shopping experience more than ever before. When it comes to prices
online, some companies want to go ahead and offer their customers
that price that they see that might be lower. At the same time,
there's other retailers who know that at the end of the day, it
doesn't matter where people shop, as long as people shop with them.
Whether it's an online sale or in-store sale, many companies are
doing everything that they can to attract extra customer dollars
this year. Price matching seems to be a popular one."
tips do you have for consumers on Black Friday when they visit shopping
malls and stores?
crowds are expected to hit the stores over Black Friday weekend
this year as we've seen in recent years," the spokeswoman added.
"It's important for people to remember that at any time, somebody
could be eyeing their bags and just looking to grab their bag and
run away with it. The same is true with their wallets. We recommend
that people refrain from pulling out large amounts of cash at the
register. If they are going to shop with cash, they keep it under
wraps until they are ready to pay. The same for their smartphones
and tablets. It's very easy to walk around and hold those devices
in your hand and be on the go and be active to see what's happening
online while you're in stores. They are people who are lurking around
the corners or could be lurking around the corners just waiting
to take those devices out of your hand. It's really important to
be cognitive and keep your bags close and pay attention even in
the parking lot when you are walking to the car if you have a lot
mention the smartphones. How can people use their iPhone or their
Windows phone to find more deals?
and tablets are going to play a very large role in how people shop
this year," Grannis explained. "There are many apps that
people can download that not only offer coupons, but let you check-in
to a store virtually. At that time, the retailer will automatically
shoot them a coupon to use at their next in-store purchase. There
are so many different ways to utilize this new technology that exists
with mobile phones and tablets. It's also great for researching
products and looking at customer reviews. For those on the go, if
you have an e-mail account that you receive e-mails from retailers,
you can use that e-mail coupon at the register by just simply holding
up your phone and having the customer service representative scan
your phone for the discount. If you have a smartphone, definitely
look for ways to use it this holiday season."
have Cyber Monday coming up. What products might be cheaper on that
Monday will be a great day for anyone looking for last-minute deals
that they weren't able to find over the weekend or even for those
who prefer to shop online and not hit the stores," the spokeswoman
added. "It is one of the best days of the year in terms of
online holiday promotions. There's no doubt that we'll see our share
of promotions on everything from apparel to electronics to toys
and even home decor and home good items. Free shipping will definitely
be plentiful that weekend and that day as well. For those who don't
want to go to the store over the weekend, Cyber Monday is a great
way to seek out those free shipping deals and buy everything online."
Do you think
more consumers will shop on Cyber Monday than on Black Friday this
expect people to shop all weekend long starting as early as 8 p.m.
on Thursday and continuing well through the day on Cyber Monday,"
she said. "Some people may make one large trip or make one
big purchase online. Others could really spread out their shopping
all weekend long. There's no question that it is the biggest shopping
weekend of the year and that includes Cyber Monday."
back to Black Friday for just one second, do you think the websites
with the Black Friday ads or circulars are pretty reliable?
retailers chose to leak their Black Friday ads early to get people
excited," Grannis explained. "Others are accidentally
leaked, or maliciously leaked from somebody who doesn't have access
or permission does put out that information early without permission.
For many companies, getting the information out there early is a
way to shore up excitement and help get people excited about what
they're going to offer in the stores."
can you discuss the impact of Small Business Saturday?
kinds of retailers--small, large, online, restaurants and even grocery
stores were certainly very supportive of our small business community.
Any initiative that supports small businesses and helps grow their
business and really helps the community and kind of brings communities
together, we of course support any initiative like Small Business
Saturday. It is a great way to show how important small businesses
are to the community."
more information about the National Retail Federation, visit www.nrf.com.
to Get the Most Out of Black Friday and Cyber Monday
woman using her credit card to order gifts online.
will be very busy this holiday season.
is matching prices over the holidays for the first time ever.
your smartphone to get mobile coupons and have them scanned