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Thanksgiving weekend retail sales jump to record $52.4B

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U.S. retail sales during Thanksgiving weekend climbed 16 percent to a record, as shoppers flocked to stores earlier and spent more, according to the National Retail Federation.

Sales totaled $52.4 billion, and the average shopper spent $398.62 over the holiday weekend, up from $365.34 a year earlier, the Washington-based trade group said in a statement Sunday, citing a survey conducted by BIGresearch. More than a third of that--an average of $150.53--was was spent online.

Many retailers opened on Thanksgiving this year to lock in sales from consumers still leery about spending amid 9 percent unemployment, a sluggish housing market and slower third-quarter economic growth than previously estimated. The number of people shopping during the Thanksgiving Day weekend rose to a record 226 million, up from 212 million last year, the NRF said.

Toys “R” Us, for example, opened at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving and started importuning shoppers a month before with circulars and e-mails, according to chief executive officer Gerald Storch. Deals included half-off board games, with titles such as Candyland selling for $5.

More than half of shoppers bought clothing, the most popular category, followed by electronics.

The number of people shopping online and at stores on Thanksgiving Day jumped to 28.7 million from 22.2 million last year. About a quarter of all shoppers visited stores by midnight of Black Friday, up from just 3.3 percent two years ago.

“Consumers are clearly demonstrating their desire to spend this holiday season, but are far from throwing caution to the wind when it comes to how much they will spend on gifts,” said Phil Rist, executive vice president at BIGresearch. “Retailers will have to stick to an aggressive holiday promotion schedule to keep consumers interested.”

Black Friday, so named because it was traditionally the day many retailers became profitable, is expected to be the busiest shopping day this year, a status it had ceded for some years to the Saturday before Christmas.

Holiday sales may rise 2.8 percent this year, or about half of last year’s 5.2 percent gain, according to the NRF.

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  • Holiday Spending
    Most of this spending was done on credit cards. The public has taken a page from the federal government playbook. Spend it even if you dont have it...Its only someone elses money.

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  1. The east side does have potential...and I have always thought Washington Scare should become an outlet mall. Anyone remember how popular Eastgate was? Well, Indy has no outlet malls, we have to go to Edinburgh for the deep discounts and I don't understand why. Jim is right. We need a few good eastsiders interested in actually making some noise and trying to change the commerce, culture and stereotypes of the East side. Irvington is very progressive and making great strides, why can't the far east side ride on their coat tails to make some changes?

  2. Boston.com has an article from 2010 where they talk about how Interactions moved to Massachusetts in the year prior. http://www.boston.com/business/technology/innoeco/2010/07/interactions_banks_63_million.html The article includes a link back to that Inside Indiana Business press release I linked to earlier, snarkily noting, "Guess this 2006 plan to create 200-plus new jobs in Indiana didn't exactly work out."

  3. I live on the east side and I have read all your comments. a local paper just did an article on Washington square mall with just as many comments and concerns. I am not sure if they are still around, but there was an east side coalition with good intentions to do good things on the east side. And there is a facebook post that called my eastside indy with many old members of the eastside who voice concerns about the east side of the city. We need to come together and not just complain and moan, but come up with actual concrete solutions, because what Dal said is very very true- the eastside could be a goldmine in the right hands. But if anyone is going damn, and change things, it is us eastside residents

  4. Please go back re-read your economics text book and the fine print on the February 2014 CBO report. A minimum wage increase has never resulted in a net job loss...

  5. The GOP at the Statehouse is more interested in PR to keep their majority, than using it to get anything good actually done. The State continues its downward spiral.

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