Get your running shoes ready, because it's Black Friday time! Millions of shoppers flock to various retail stores the day after Thanksgiving in anticipation of deeply discounted electronics, toys, and other items. More than 147 million shoppers hit the stores on Black Friday weekend last year, spending an average of $347.44, according to the National Retail Federation.
It's no surprise, though, that the 2008 holiday season will be a challenging one. Consumers may be spending less than previous years, given the current economic crisis. Retailers are struggling, too, with news of Circuit City filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and Best Buy lowering its holiday sales predictions. Dan de Grandpre, CEO of DealNews.com, told PC Mag that the state of the economy has added a level of unpredictability: Consumers don't know if their gift cards will work three months later with all of these store closings, and retailers such as Kmart and Sears have had to be much more aggressive, offering pre-Black Friday sales in order to entice consumers to spend.