Black Friday may be losing some of its luster to online buying and Thanksgiving day door-busters, but for shoppers like Dyane Munford, it’s as “exhilarating” as ever, a time to strategize, divide and conquer the best deals.
Even as some retailers pushed back against the recent trend of Thanksgiving hours and online shopping made it easier than ever to snag a deal from the comfort of the couch, the most dedicated deal-seekers still packed in their holiday dinner early to flock to the stores.
It's like a fraternity, Zachary Orr is trying to explain, and in the literal sense of the word, he is correct: The Ravens' undrafted linebackers are a brotherhood, sharing practice reps, small-school pedigrees and the life lessons that have so far kept them kin.
Thousands in the Baltimore area will dedicate more than 50 hours per week this season at Amazon's Baltimore fulfillment center to make the holidays happen for customers around the globe. In the modern day, amid the many deals offered as often as every five minutes on Amazon.com, Amazon's associates are the closest things to Santa's helpers.
Local allegiance is quite natural when it comes to rooting for professional sporting franchises. We need to develop this same passion for our hometown businesses and support them with the same fervor as we have for the local sporting teams.
Black Friday isn't what it once was. The day after Thanksgiving, once considered the champion of shopping days, is no longer the first day of holiday buying or always the biggest. And it's far from the only time to pounce on rock-bottom deals. Discounts now start earlier. The biggest chains open on Thanksgiving. Shoppers have learned they can count on last-minute price cuts. And online shopping has made the day less relevant.
After a lackluster Black Friday weekend — spending fell 11 percent from Thanksgiving through Sunday, according to the National Retail Federation — some big retailers were under more pressure to have a sales blowout.
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.
Retail sales rose a "decent" 2.3 percent from Nov. 1 to Dec. 24 in holiday-related categories such as apparel, electronics and jewelry, according to a Thursday report from MasterCard SpendingPulse. A late Thanksgiving, which reduced the number of shopping days, and a series of winter storms put retailers at a disadvantage, leading to modest growth. Many stores are trying to make up for lost time with post-holiday deals.
By By Colin Campbell and Krishana Davis and Baltimore Sun Media Group
Furby is back on store shelves this holiday season, along with other toys that never left: Barbie, Legos and Elmo, to name a few. But, more than ever, tech-related playthings are elbowing their way onto the traditional toys' turf. iPads landed on the National Retail Federation's most popular toy list for the first time this year. Even the reintroduced Furby interacts with a mobile app.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake visited a local restaurant to publicize #GivingTuesday, a day designed to foster online and other charitable contributions after the holiday shopping of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
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.
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