POTTSTOWN PA – If you’re like some shoppers across the country, it’s possible a portion – if not all – of your holiday shopping is already finished.
Retailers nationwide seem to confirm an observation made Wednesday (Nov. 1, 2023) by a university professor and hospitality expert: the consumer rush for gift bargains is already in full swing. It traditionally began during the first week of November but now launches weeks earlier, according to Tony Kim, a professor in the Hart School of Hospitality at James Madison University in Virginia.
Shoppers these days are giving themselves far more time “so they can spread out the budget, avoid last-minute buying, and prevent added stressors,” Kim said. A point of proof? Some national firms, particularly those with online operations, are already advertising Black Friday (Nov. 24) deals available now … although that date is weeks away.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday (Nov. 27), however, remain consumer calendar favorites. The National Retail Federation predicts major shopping will happen during Thanksgiving weekend, which includes both days. In addition, it anticipates even more consumers will use online platforms for holiday buying.
Early shopping isn’t bad for retailers. It extends the period in which they make a substantial amount of sales.
Remember to “Shop Local”
For them, Kim said, the best news may be that retail sales are anticipated to rebound to pre-pandemic levels this holiday season. “As a matter of fact,” he added, they are “expected to be higher than pre-pandemic level in terms of number of people who will shop and the total amount of money they will spend.”
Make sure you shop locally, the federal Small Business Administration reminds gift-givers.
Small Business Saturday (Nov. 25) is the day singled out during the holiday shopping spree to promote local retail purchases across western Montgomery, eastern Berks, and northern Chester counties, and elsewhere. Don’t be limited to a single day, though, the administration added. Local economies see immediate benefits, it said, whenever local businesses gain shoppers’ attention.
If buyers can’t find just the right present, or one at the right price, the retail federation suggests the season’s “most popular gift will continue to be the gift card,” Kim noted.