Retailers celebrate strong start to Black Friday spending
by Leigh Jones
Posted 11/24/17, 11:10 am
Managers closed a mall south of Birmingham, Ala., early Thanksgiving night after several fights broke out among shoppers hunting for Black Friday deals. Police in the town of Hoover denied reports of gunfire outside the mall, saying firecrackers likely caused the popping sounds. Despite the early violence, retail analysts predict this year’s post-Thanksgiving shopping day will be one of the nation’s biggest in years. Online shoppers across the country had already spent $1.52 billion by Thursday evening, giving retailers hope for a strong finish to 2017. “The turnout is clearly better than the last couple of years,” said Craig Johnson, president of Customer Growth Partners. “The parking lots are full and the outlet malls are busy.” The National Retail Federation predicts sales in November and December will rise as much as 4 percent this year. Non-store sales, primarily internet purchases, could rise as much as 15 percent. Retailers make as much as 40 percent of their annual sales during the holiday shopping season.
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Leigh lives in Houston with her husband and daughter. She is the news editor for The World and Everything in It and reports on education for WORLD Digital.