This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Murky Forecast for Holiday Shopping

By Kevin Grewal, Editorial Director at

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and so is Black Friday, which is the official start of the holiday shopping season and traditionally the nation's single busiest shopping day.

Consumer spending has been sluggish during the Great Recession, and it's unclear whether it will pick up enough during the coming holiday season to give the retail sector the boost it needs.
Most Popular
Black Friday's Top 10 Tech Deals
Most Commented
Cel-Sci's History of Disappearing Drugs

Most retail industry experts expect lots of people to go shopping on Black Friday, because many retailers are expected to offer exceptional discounts and tailor their offerings to penny-pinching consumers.

For example, Wal-Mart (WMT) is offering consumers a $100 gift card with the purchase of a $199 Nintendo Wii, while Best Buy (BBY)and Office Depot (OD) are advertising netbook computers with the new Windows 7 software, for under $300 and Target (TGT) is expected to offer some home appliances for as little as $3.

Some experts say consumer demand may be surprisingly strong in the next month, because consumers have had more than a year to adjust their spending habits, cope with the weak economy and put a holiday shopping plan together.

Another positive is that retailers have made it easier for consumers to purchase big-ticket items by offering extended layaway plans and earlier sales.

A combination of these factors, has led the International Council of Shopping Centers to forecast a 1%-2% rise in holiday sales.

Those who are looking at the glass as half empty say rising unemployment and an unstable economic outlook will cause consumers to remain cautious and refrain from impulse buying. Additionally, they are suggesting that special sales that retailers had earlier this year may have an adverse affect on Black Friday revenues because some consumers have already made their big purchases for the year. This has led organizations like the National Retail Federation to suggest that revenues for the holiday season are likely to decline.

Investors also need to keep in mind that even if consumers turn out in force and boost retailer revenues, this year's eye-popping discounts may erode margins.
1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
RTH $75.77 -1.60%
XRT $44.77 -2.20%
XLY $78.82 -1.10%
AAPL $95.03 -2.90%
FB $116.73 7.20%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,830.76 -210.79 -1.17%
S&P 500 2,075.81 -19.34 -0.92%
NASDAQ 4,805.2910 -57.85 -1.19%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs