This year, retailers are pulling out all the stops to attract shoppers during what is expected to be a ho-hum holiday season. Black Friday deals have already been released by a number of major players. And retailers from Macy’s to Best Buy, Walmart to Kohl’s have been touting earlier-than-ever-before store openings, leading to the coining of the ominous term, “Black Midnight.”
As in years past, Black Friday is expected to be the busiest day of the shopping season, both in terms of sales and foot traffic. But even more shoppers than usual will be jumping into the Black Friday fray. According to the NPD Group, 17% of consumers plan to begin their shopping this weekend, up from 12% a year ago. And as many as 152 million people will be visiting stores and logging on to retail websites, according to the National Retail Federation. Some 74 million people say they will definitely be shopping, while 77 million say they are waiting to see if the bargains are worth battling the crowds. That’s a significant increase over last year, when 138 million planned to shop during Black Friday weekend.
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