The Friday after Thanksgiving, also known as Black Friday, is reliably one of the busiest shopping days of the year. And, just as reliably, you can expect a group called OUR Walmart, which is financed by the United Food and Commercial Workers union (UFCW), to attempt to disrupt the day with potentially illegal actions designed to harass innocent people who merely want to shop.
In the lead up to the holidays, retailers from Amazon to Walmart are striving to keep consumers' attention longer and longer. For those with odd work hours or who choose not to sleep, retailers will be ready and waiting, especially during the crucial two-month period that can make up 40 percent of annual business.
The Y of Central Maryland's annual Y Turkey Trot Charity 5K is a perfect way for the entire family to get exercise before the big feast and help raise needed funds for kids whose families live in poverty throughout Central Maryland.
It seems that the Thanksgiving holiday is well on its way to becoming the new "Black Friday." Retailers already are announcing their hours for Thanksgiving weekend, the traditional kick-off to the holiday shopping season, and the shift toward opening earlier and earlier on Thanksgiving itself is continuing.
Many believe that in recent years the mega-merger of the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday seasons have conspired to make your life crazy. To make matters worse, this year Mother Nature and the calendar have joined the fray.
Shopping holidays have their place, but the business textbook basics – quality product, effective promotion, prominent placement and reasonable price – will always carry the day when it comes to attracting and keeping customers, long after the hype has faded.
Despite extra time to shop as more retailers opened for business on Thanksgiving Day, consumers spent less money this year during the first four days of the official start of the holiday shopping season, according to figures released Sunday by the National Retail Federation.
Scores of independent merchants in the Baltimore area did their part Saturday to get the "Shop Small" message out for the fourth annual Small Business Saturday. American Express launched the initiative four years ago to help small shops compete with national chains and online sellers during the traditional kickoff weekend to the holiday retail season.
The traditional kickoff to holiday retail spending drew smaller than usual hordes of bargain hunters in the Baltimore area Friday, probably because earlier Thanksgiving sales and staggered "limited supply" discounts spread shoppers out.
Harford County holiday shoppers may have flooded local retailers Thanksgiving evening and Friday morning for traditional Black Friday sales, but there will be plenty of great pre-Christmas deals to choose from in the shops along the main downtown streets of Bel Air, Aberdeen and Havre de Grace during Small Business Saturday.
Experts predicted that 33 million Americans planned to go shopping on Thanksgiving Day, and Baltimore-area shoppers were no exception. Many Marylanders hit the stores in between Thanksgiving dinners and the nighttime Ravens-Steelers game.
By By Pamela Wood, Alison Knezevich, Jamie Smith Hopkins and Lorraine Mirabella and The Baltimore Sun
It's Black Friday. I hope you all had a blessed Thanksgiving holiday, perhaps with lots of friends and relatives. Many folks are now in the turmoil of holiday shopping madness, straight through until Christmas. Friends who work in the retail business reported to work yesterday eve to open stores early to shoppers – lunacy! Happy Black Friday
By By Ron Browning and 410-939-6562; fax 410-939-1833