Archive for November, 2011

Black Friday sales hit record, giving season hope

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Retailers’ earlier-than-ever store openings and aggressive marketing pitches proved to bring out budget-conscious shoppers and spur them to open wallets in this year’s Black Friday weekend, setting a positive tone for the industry’s biggest selling period.

Different surveys showed positive sales and traffic on the day after Thanksgiving as retailers, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. WMT +1.07% , kicked off their special event on Thanksgiving night and other retailers from Target Corp. TGT +2.27% to Best Buy Co.BBY +4.19% moved their store openings to midnight on Friday.

Black Friday sales rose 6.6% to $11.4 billion, a record amount, according to retail and mall traffic tracker ShopperTrak. Retail foot traffic also rose 5.1% on Friday.

According to the National Retail Federation, a record 226 million shoppers hit the stores and websites over Black Friday weekend, up from 212 million last year. The average shopper spent about $400 this weekend, up from $365.34 last year. Total spending reached an estimated record amount of $52.4 billion.

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White House Sidelines Christmas Tree ‘Tax’

The White House has decided to sideline a proposed fee on Christmas trees, after the fee was ridiculed by critics as a tax on Christmas.

The 15-cent tax on Christmas trees was announced Tuesday in the Federal Register, and was meant to pay for a new board tasked with promoting the Christmas tree industry. It was supported by Christmas tree growers, who wanted a stable source of revenue to fund a new marketing campaign.

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