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Black Friday Sales Are Slightly Up, and How To Make the Most of Christmas 2010

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According to the Wall Street Journal, sales volume over 2009 rose by 2.2% this year to $10.7 Billion, and foot traffic rose 3.2% as the first official day of holiday shopping opened before the crack of dawn.

Sears and several other retailers went the unheard-of route of opening Thanksgiving Day, and GameStop opened their doors precisely at midnight. While online sales that had been running all week dampened the turnout slightly, even the light drizzle that covered much of the Northeast couldn’t keep intrepid shoppers from lining up at my local Best Buy in search of doorbuster bargains like plasma televisions, game systems, and computer accessories. Talking to customers at a variety of stores, most people were looking to buy things for themselves as much as they were looking for Christmas presents for friends and family.

As usual, Black Friday was only the beginning of the Holiday Season buying rush. Based on buying habits I and others have observed on forums, I believe that the smart shopper this year will be watching for the hook items designed to get you in the store and keep you there. A lot of retailers are going to be buying up last year’s models at firesale prices to throw out the door to reel you in. If you’ve still got shopping to do, or you’re looking to augment your stock of Blu-ray players or bedroom televisions, this is almost certainly your year to shine. Watch the ads, and be ready to strike every Sunday (and maybe even some mid-week sales) as the deals emerge. Online-only retailers like Amazon have already been throwing new and crazy discounts out almost hourly for a week now with no sign of stopping. My best advice? Watch what you spend, and save at least 40% of your budget for the period after December 10th. Depending on how sales are faring, most companies have a “Plan A” and a “Plan B” flyer set for the last 10 days of the buying frenzy, and there could be further Black Friday-style insanity in our future. Good luck and good hunting!

Source: [Wall Street Journal]

Happy Holidays

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