‘Tis the Season To Be Spending

For some people shopping is much more than a requirement around the Holiday Season, it is a necessity to get through life. These people shop throughout the entire year, using shopping almost as a form of recreation. Sometimes they make purchases for themselves; other times they make purchases for friends, family members, coworkers and even for their pets. On occasion they will even go shopping without the intention of making a purchase at all, simply using the time together as a way to catch up on each other’s lives.

For the rest of us however, shopping can seem almost like a four letter word.  It is something that is more of a task than an enjoyable way to spend the afternoon. A task, that this time of the year, is put off and avoided until absolutely necessary and no longer avoidable unless you have the desire to be remembered by your friends and family as the modern day Ebenezer Scrooge.

With the passing of Black Friday, the 2011 holiday shopping season has official begun. An estimated 195 million shoppers took to the stores in an attempt to take advantage of the countless sales offered by retailers to kick off their most important time of the year. Over the next few weeks roughly 20% of the year’s retail spending will be done.  For some retailers, nearly 40% of their annual sales will occur over this month-long period of time. 

The impact that consumers will have over the holiday shopping season is one that stretches much further than to just the retailer’s bottom line. Consumer spending makes up nearly 70% of the U.S. Economy, which shows just how vital the retail market is. The National Retail Federation estimates that 2011 holiday sales will be up 2.8% from 2010 to $465.6 billion, a boost that is much needed and one that many hope will be the start to putting “The Great Recession of 2007” behind us for good.

Only time will tell how much consumers will spend this holiday season and if it will be enough to get our economy over the proverbial hump, but it’s definitely something that we should all put down on our wish lists this holiday season.

Source:  “What is Black Friday?” by Kimberly Amadeo, About.com Guide  http://useconomy.about.com/od/demand/f/Black_Friday.htm

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About Jeff Herzig

Director of Research, HMC Partners
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