Consumer

Central Fresno Target breaks national Black Friday spending trend

Sunday, December 01, 2013

A study for the National Retail Federation estimates about 4 million more people shopped in stores and online over the Thanksgiving weekend compared to last year, but overall spending is down.

Market analysts say people have been doing their shopping throughout the year instead of all at once. Some shoppers believe they can find the better deals in the weeks to come, especially on Cyber Monday.

Retailers blurred the lines between Thanksgiving and Christmas more than ever this year. Some stores opened their doors and rolled out deals as early as Thanksgiving morning.

Sunday most of the Black Friday specials were nowhere to be found at one Fresno Target. The crowds were also gone, giving way for post Black Friday bargain hunters like Jessica Ibal.

"I'm gonna look around to see what's on sale, see if there's anything that catches my eye," Ibal said.

There were plenty of red tags to catch her eye, especially in the clothing section. But she still wasn't quite ready to buy at the price marked.

"They usually have those sales for a week long, so I'm not worried on losing on anything big," Ibal said.

Shoppers like Dianna Decoste, went out with the Black Friday crowds. She walked away with some deals, but decided to hold off on purchasing some item. Decoste said she never felt the pressure to make an immediate buy.

"I have been reading the specials are going to be continuing on through till Christmas, so if you missed out on Black Friday, you still have a chance to get some good prices," Decoste said.

Analysts expect 141 million people will have shopped Thursday through Sunday and will have spent $57.4 billion. But that still shows spending has declined for the first time since the 2009 shopping season.

Analysts say one reason is that many people have been shopping year round is because the stores have been offering sales weeks and months in advance. Another reason is that people aren't quite feeling the economic recovery yet.

"Despite indicators in the economy like the stock market and interest rates..there are still economic challenges that many Americans still face," National Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay said.

This is true, at least for Jessica Ibal who is living on a budget until she starts her new job in a few days.

"I probably won't get paid until two weeks before Christmas so I think I'm going to go Christmas shopping very slowly, until I actually get paid," Ibal said.

A Central Fresno Target manager said their Black Friday sales numbers are projected to be up from last year, so they are breaking the national trend. Analysts say Black Friday spending doesn't always reflect overall spending for the holiday season.

Experts are projecting to beat last year's Cyber Monday online sales numbers.

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