Holiday Shopping Outlook

By: Lisa Ferrari Email
By: Lisa Ferrari Email

November 29, 2006

Shoppers jammed the malls on Friday.

Overall, Black Friday was a good day. Sales were up about 2.5%, said University of Virginia Darden Business School Professor Peter Rodriguez.

Black Friday is considered an indication of how buyers will spend throughout the holiday season. Economists say sales were up this year, but not as high as expected.

“No one is panicking about the fall off in shopping thus far,” said Rodriguez.

That's because those who stayed away from the stores Friday sat in front of their computers Monday. According to numbers released on Wednesday, Cyber Monday brought in a record $608,000,000 for e-retailers. Local retail giant Crutchfield is reporting online sales were up 71% Monday.

“This is unprecedented. We have seen a much bigger growth this year than in prior years,” said Crutchfield CEO & Founder Bill Crutchfield.

The retailer predicts it will end the holiday shopping season with a 25% increase in sales.

“If you look at our numbers it would bode well for consumer confidence, but looking at the industry it is not nearly as strong as what we are seeing here,” said Crutchfield.

That is true. Wal-Mart reported slower than expected holiday sales and although sales overall were up slightly going into the holiday shopping season, it doesn't mean the buying can't fizzle as Santa’s helpers wait for those last minute markdowns.

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