Wary Consumers Will Need Convincing this Black Friday

Electronics and inexpensive smaller items will be top sellers this holiday season.

By Rachel Pritchett


Undaunted by dismal retail forecasts, storekeepers will be doing everything in their power to get cautious consumers to lighten up and buy something this Black Friday.

There are the early hours on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving for first grab at the goods.

At Kitsap Mall, some of the anchor stores will open at 4 a.m. and everyone else opens two hours later. The Poulsbo Wal-Mart Superstore opens at 5 a.m. and the Silverdale Target at 6 a.m.

Then there are the expected deals, and this year, they better really wow.

“It’s all about deals,” said mall Marketing Manager Yvonne Tomascak.

Retail sales in some areas — electronics, for instance — decreased about 20 percent during the first half of November over last year, so stores are working hard to do what they have to do to get out of the hole.

And if really big bargains aren’t there, shoppers won’t shop, the National Retail Federation predict. 

That’s one reason they’re shunning gift cards for purchases that can’t take advantages of bargains. Gift-card sales will drop 6 percent this holiday season, the NRF predicted.

Retailers also will be promoting “Cyber Monday” on Dec. 1 to kick off the Internet holiday shopping season. Eighty-four percent of retailers will have one-day cybersales then, more than any time in the past, according to the NRF, the biggest retail association in the nation.

And if they buy, what will they buy?

“The new technology,” said Doug Ayerst, manager of the Poulsbo Wal-Mart.

That includes flat-screen televisions, laptops and Blu-ray discs. Add to that “lots of toys.”

For girls, Wal-Mart anticipates Littlest Pet Shop toys will be popular this season, along with 25th-anniversary editions of Cabbage Patch dolls.

For boys, the Nerf Vulcan, a fake gun, is expected to be a surefire hit.

Nationally, top toys for girls will be the ageless Barbie, Disney’s Hannah Montana, Bratz dolls and Nintendo Wii. For boys, video games, Nintendo Wii and LEGOS will be popular, the NRF predicted.

But even with the dawn-busting sales and cool toys for kids, consumers are bound to be wary and cautious as they head into a new year of uncharted economic waters.

Expect them to buy small, said the NRF — inexpensive things like books, DVDs and CDs, and traditional winter wear.

“Americans may be hesitant to purchase expensive gifts this holiday season, but personal and practical gifts will resonate most with shoppers this year,” said NRF President and CEO Tracy Mullin.


Top Toys for Girls

1. Barbie

2. Disney Hannah Montana

3. Generic dolls

4. Bratz

5. Nintendo Wii

6. Video games

7. Elmo

8. Disney High School Musical

9. Disney Princess

10. American Girl


Top Toys for Boys

1. Video Games

2. Nintendo Wii


4. Generic cars

5. Transformers

6. Elmo

7. Star Wars

8. Hot Wheels

9. Remote-controlled vehicles

10 Xbox 360

— National Retail Federation


Origin of ‘Black Friday’

Its use goes back to the 1960s and Philadelphia, where it describe heavy traffic on the day after Thanksgiving. Now, it refers to the first day of the holiday-shopping season, in which retailers hope their sales will be in the black.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Before you post, please complete the prompt below.

Enter the word yellow here: