June 18, 2024

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Black Friday discounts won’t be enough to bring in shoppers, retailers fear

2 min read

Expect big discounts and other enticements to lure shoppers to stores for Black Friday. But retailers worry those may not be enough.

Consumers are coming under pressure as their savings dwindle and their credit card debt grows. And although they have gotten some relief from easing inflation, many goods and services like meat and rent are still far higher than they were just three years ago.

Barbara Lindquist, 85, from Hawthorne Woods, Illinois, said she and her husband plan to spend about $1,000 for holiday gifts for her three adult children, 13 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. That’s about the same as last year.

But Lindquist, who continues to work as a pre-school teacher at a local church, said she’ll be more focused on deals given still high prices on meat and other staples. And she plans to buy more gift cards, which she believes will help her stick to her budget.

“I go for value,” said Lindquist, who just picked up discounted sheets and towels at Kohl’s for friends who will be visiting from Panama during the holidays.

Many retailers had already ordered fewer goods for this holiday season and have pushed holiday sales earlier in October than last year to help shoppers spread out their spending. An early shopping push appears to be a trend that only got more pronounced during the pandemic when clogs in the supply network in 2021 made people buy early for fear of not getting what they wanted.

But retailers said that many shoppers will be focusing more on deals and will likely wait until the last minute. Best Buy said it’s pushing more items at opening price points, while Kohl’s has simplified its deals, promoting items under a certain price point like $25 at its stores.

Target said shoppers are waiting longer to buy items. For example, instead of buying sweatshirts or denim back in August or September, they held out until the weather turned cold.

“It’s clear that consumers have been remarkably resilient,”…

Anne D’Innocenzio, The Associated Press

2023-11-24 05:35:35

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