Weatherford Democrat

Top News

November 27, 2013

Gray Thursday ... Black Friday ... Small Business Saturday ... Cyber Monday

With some stores opening Thursday evening, shoppers want to see sales and discounts as holiday buying season commences

(Continued)

“I was a former ‘spend-aholic,’’’said Anwar, 29. “Now, I want to make sure I have the money before I spend it.”

It’s a problem that retailers know all too well. Since the recession began in late 2007, stores have had to offer financially strapped Americans ever bigger price cuts just to get them into stores. But those discounts eat away at profits.

So far, Wal-Mart, Target and Kohl’s are among more than two dozen major chains that lowered their profit outlooks for either the quarter or the year. A big reason is the expectation that they’ll have to offer huge discounts in order to get shoppers to spend.

There are already signs that retailers are aggressively discounting. Wal-Mart, for instance, on Friday started matching or beating the prices that certain competitors like Best Buy are advertising for some toys and electronics for the day after Thanksgiving — known as Black Friday. Best Buy also plans to match rivals’ prices, even after customers have purchased items. And Target, better known for its whimsical advertising, is touting its prices in holiday TV ads for the first time in at least a decade.

The tempered expectations, earlier discounting and lowered profit outlooks from retailers come even though there are indications that the economy is recovering. The job market is making strides. The housing market is starting to come back. And the stock market keeps hitting new highs. All that would ordinarily lead Americans to spend more.

But so far, those improvements haven’t been enough to shore up consumer confidence. In fact, Americans’ confidence in the economy is at its lowest level since April.

“Stores know that they are well into a fight,” said Ken Perkins, president of the research firm RetailMetrics. “The vast majority of consumers are distressed.”

Retail sales were up 0.4 percent in October, after being flat the previous month, according to the Commerce Department. Americans spent on big ticket item such as cars and furniture, but that may have left them with less room for more discretionary items like clothing this holiday season.

Text Only
Top News
Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Poll

The City of Weatherford is considering an ordinance that would ban smoking inside restaurants and enclosed areas where food is prepared, sold or consumed. Do you agree with this proposal?

Yes
No
Undecided
Don't care
     View Results