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Retailers Counting on Strong Black Friday

By Daniel Cherry | Published 23 Nov 2012 06:42am | comments
It's Black Friday, the traditional start of the holiday shopping season. And Mississippians are among the millions already caught up on the spending frenzy. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports, many retailers are counting on strong sales this holiday season to pull them through. 
 
At stores across Mississippi, shoppers are lining up to land some of the biggest deals of the year. Joeseph Hill, manager of the Shoe Department in Flowood, says the early shoppers will have the most options.
 
"Try to get in as fast as possible so they can get their size because we're going to run out of sizes fast. Especially the bigger sizes in women like the 11s and the 10s and then the smaller sizes like the 5 1/2s and the 6s, they go first."
 
The holiday shopping season makes up a huge portion of many retailers' annual sales. Up to 50 percent for some small businesses. Dr. Marianne Hill, the Senior Economist with the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning, says, nationally, sales are expected to be up about four and a half percent over this time last year, and Mississippi should see a little part of that.
 
"In Mississippi we don't expect quite as much growth because we've been trailing the rest of the economy this year, but I expect that it will be a good season."
 
While thousands of Mississippians are out searching for the best deals, many choose to avoid the big crowds, and shop at their own convenience. Dr. Hill says retailers are competing with the growing trend of online sales.
 
"The one concern that a lot of retailer have is to what extent are Internet sales going to be cutting into the season. Right now about 5% of sales are done online these days."
 
The National Retail Association expects 147 million shoppers to hit the stores this Black Friday weekend. Daniel Cherry...MPB News.

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