American Consumers Flex Their Muscles on "Black Friday"
For at least one day, people across the United States forgot about the depressed economy and spent like it was 2007.
The final "Black Friday" numbers aren't in as of yet, but eyewitness accounts from all across the country would seem to indicate that the average American voraciously gobbled up deals yesterday.
Since the onset of the "Great Recession" in December of 2007, consumers have been spending less due to worries over the state of the economy and reduced access to credit. An incredible appetite for consumer goods has evaporated over the past couple of years due to a lack of jobs and murky outlook for the economy going forward.
That all changed on "Black Friday" as Americans made a hard charge for big-box and online retailers. Google News lit up with stories of huge crowds and long line-ups as consumers shook off the malaise of the past few years and lit up their credit cards.
Stores did everything that they could to lure customers in through their doors this year. Many retailers offered steeper-than-usual discounts and extended hours in order to attract droves of shoppers, and it seems to have worked. According to Businessweek.com, stores across the United States reported heavier traffic compared to last year. This bodes well for the holiday season, as many expect that this resurgence of the consumer will continue right through until Christmas.
Consumers weren't just on the prowl for low-priced items on Friday - according to multiple media reports, high-end retailers were also noticing much higher traffic levels compared to last year. It seems as though the newfound frugality of the average American disappeared, at least temporarily, on "Black Friday".
An estimated $18.6 billion was spent on "Black Friday" last year. The final numbers aren't in for this year as of yet, but it certainly seems as though there will be a sizable uptick posted based on preliminary estimates and eyewitness reports.
The American consumer is hungry after nearly three years of tightening their belts, and they certainly seem to have feasted on "Black Friday".
Filed under: General Market News