Black Friday Spending Expected To Be Up This Year

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This year's Black Friday sales are expected to be up compared to last year, but not enough to boost total holiday spending which is expected to be flat.(Photo: Mark Hillary (flickr))
This year's Black Friday sales are expected to be up compared to last year, but not enough to boost total holiday spending which is expected to be flat.(Photo: Mark Hillary (flickr))

It’s still fairly early in the day for many Black Friday shoppers. While some people have been in the stores for hours already this morning, others got a jump start last night, as a few national chain stores opened before midnight. WOSU talked with an Ohio State University marketing professor on what holiday spending looks like this season and this weekend’s best deals.

If you’re in the market for an HDTV, Ohio State’s Rao Unnava said there will be a host of great deals on those today. And Unnava said the prices are even lower than last year.

“A 32 inch TV is available for less than $200 on Black Friday which is a very good price. A slightly bigger set would cost you a little bit more money, but the deals are really good on TVs on Black Friday especially at places like Best Buy, Wal-Mart and Sears,” he said.

But Unnava said if you’re looking for one of those new tablet computers like an Ipad or a Kindle Fire, well, do not expect to get a bottom-line price on one of those. But he said if you’re searching for other electronics, “there are some very good deals going on laptops and smart phones both of which are very popular.”

And Unnava said, as usual, there will be good deals on luggage, clothing and toys.

Unnava said retail sales this Black Friday are expected to be up considerably compared to last year, but Friday’s spending is not expected to give a significant boost to overall holiday sales.

“The expected increase over shopping from last year compared to this year for the whole season is about 2-and-a-half percent. Last year, compared to the year before, it was a lot more than that. It was close to a 4-and-a-half percent increase. So 2-and-a-half is less than what people have been expecting, but it’s better than not having an increase or a drop,” he noted.

One reason spending is expected to be up this Black Friday is because some big box retailers opened before midnight on Thanksgiving. While some people, including store workers, have protested the early openings through online petitions, Unnava said the different opening times – some before midnight, some at midnight and others at 5 a.m. – give consumers more opportunities to shop.

“When every store opens only at one time like 5 o’clock, 6 o’clock in the morning, the ability for people to run from store to store is limited. But now because these stores are staggered, many people are making lists of what they want from each store and willing to run from store to store,” he said.

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