Still stressed, but not panicked. That’s the retail state of mind following the Black Friday weekend, which saw unexceptional yet decent enough traffic and sales to hold out hope that the holiday season might not be too bad. At least when measured against last year’s disaster.

On Sunday, retailers told WWD they made their Black Friday weekend plans, albeit conservative ones, citing pent-up demand, “frugal fatigue,” lots of self-purchasing as opposed to buying gifts, widespread doorbusters often starting at 5 a.m., and targeted price promotions. Browsing without buying seemed less an issue this year compared with 2008, though retailers caution Black Friday is not necessarily a barometer for what lies ahead.

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