The National Retail Federation says Black Friday will be the biggest shopping day of the four day Thanksgiving weekend – no surprise there. But economists and retail experts think the best deals may happen in the coming weeks.
A recent survey says 57 percent of people felt the economy is getting worse, and a Gallup Poll found shoppers plan to spend less on the Christmas holiday this year compared to 2012. Experts say that means stores are focused on consumer confidence.
Peggy Hixenbaugh rolled out of Mishawaka’s Super Target Thursday with a cart full of good deals.
“I bought this Barbie set, it was on sale. I bought this coffee maker that was on sale, this ottoman was a good deal,” she said, pointing out her bargain buys.
And her strategy is pretty simple.
“If it was a good deal, I picked it up,” she said.
Ashleigh Robinson had the same idea. By 2 p.m. Friday, she’d hit 7 stores.
“I saved almost $300 today,” she told WSBT.
Some economists say those deals are a direct response to shoppers who are nervous about government health care plans and their own tight budgets.
“They’re having to do a lot more to get consumers to part with their money,” said Saint Mary’s College economics professor Richard Measell.
Thanksgiving was the latest it's been since 2002 and retailers know they have less than a month to make their fourth quarter numbers.
“I’d be curious to see how the discounts go as we get closer to Christmas,” Measell continued. “Do they have too much inventory and sort of have to slash their prices more to get that stuff out the door?”
Everyone will be anxiously watching the numbers. Some retail experts expect a 3.5 to 4 percent increase in retail sales this Christmas, but others are projecting sales will be flat.
The National Retail Federation said it will release results from Thanksgiving and Black Friday shopping surveys on Sunday, December 1 – including what time people started shopping and how much they spent online and in stores.