In the ChainLinks 2012 Retail Forecast Report, carried out by the market research group, Terranomics, the success of last year’s holiday retail sales was attributed, in part, to many retailers extending their Black Friday sales, beginning earlier and lasting longer into the weekend. “The impact of ‘Black Friday’ is slowly slipping away,” the report states. In spite of some stores opting to open on Thanksgiving night, a record number of consumers showed up “at ungodly hours to get an early jump on their holiday shopping. It’s already one of the busiest days of the year for movie theaters and many restaurant chains. With retailers facing ever more intense competition from both online retailers and one another, consumers are continuing to demonstrate that they are willing to show up earlier to cash in on deals.” The report predicts that Black Friday’s days are numbered as retailers move toward a full weekend of promotions and events, which will commence on Thanksgiving Day and last through the following Sunday. Record high sales are anticipated as a result, as the Retail Forecast Report also cites the National Retail Federation and the International Council of Shopping Centers in its expectations for a three percent minimum increase in market performance this year.
As the market stands at present, analysts have already reported September sales were higher than anticipated. This is due to the fact that shoppers who were buying for the school season have already moved directly into their holiday shopping, which launched the spending rush earlier than usual. Stores such as Macy’s and Limited Brands Inc. are among those noting a premature, but welcome, wave of holiday customers. Though the increase lingers in the single digits, market researchers are optimistic for this year’s holiday season.