Holiday shopping, which traditionally begins with the annual Black Friday deals, will feature the usual deep discounts, but many younger shoppers are more likely to whip out their credit cards on Monday.
Online shopping nationally has jumped 15.2 percent in the first nine months of the year, compared to last year, said Raymond Sfeir, director of Chapman University’s A. Gary Anderson Center for Economic Research.
“That is a huge increase,” Sfeir said.
It indicates that the annual Cyber Monday online retail event will mark the beginning of the holiday shopping season for many younger discount hawks, Sfeir said.
“I expect ecommerce to grab an even larger portion of retail this year,” Sfeir said. “It’s sad to see so many stores closing in different malls and shopping centers, including a lot of clothing stores, but for young people that’s where they shop these days. They like to take out the cellphone and click a few times and get something in the mail.”
It’s more convenient in some ways, but without trying clothes on in a store it leads to a lot of returns, Sfeir said.
“They’ll order five things and keep one and ship back the rest,” Sfeir said. “For the new generation that’s what they’re used to. They’re not used to touching things and kicking the tires so to speak in the stores.”
Monday sales are “increasing at a faster rate than the sales on Friday and the (Thanksgiving) weekend in general,” Sfeir said.
Sfeir predicts a strong shopping season at brick-and-mortar stores, though, based on positive economic indicators, Sfeir said.
“We have very good employment data, and that is very important — the unemployment rate is extremely low,” Sfeir said.
The stock market has been retreating, but Sfeir does not think that will affect shopping this weekend.
“I think it will be fine,” he said. “Profits are still strong, the economy is doing well and GDP is expected to grow next year. A little less than this year, though.”
— City News Service
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