As hard as we find it to comprehend, Thanksgiving is mere days away. (Seriously where did 2009 go?) And with it comes the day after which of course we all know as "Black Friday." For obvious reasons, people who track such numbers are going to be looking very carefully at how retail fares this year. Are people going to start really spending again? Might they unload some of the dollars they've been frugally putting away all year on the major deals that come around on this day? In terms of the financial markets, the latest numbers from yesterday show slight gains in the retail sector. Matthew Katz, managing director of Alix told WWD, “We definitely have pockets of improvement, and pent-up demand is evident for some retail categories. Yet, the bottom is still murky, unemployment is above 10 percent and consumer confidence has quite a way to go.” And consumer researcher Lynn Franco says, "Retailers will need to be quite creative to entice consumers to spend, both in stores and online this holiday season, as consumers most certainly will expect major markdowns and bargains."
As much as we'd like to see everything make a huge turnaround, merely our own observations of friends' shopping habits tell us they will probably not be the case. Plus, we have to admit we've always been pretty curious about who can actually deal with shopping on Black Friday during any economic climate. So will you be hitting the stores for deals this year? Is shopping back in your life in a big way?