AP photosHOLIDAY SHOPPING-CATALOGS FREEPORT, Maine â¿¿ Despite the flood of holiday catalogs, annual catalog circulation by retailers has actually dipped substantially, with nearly a third fewer mailed compared to four years ago. Blame a postage increase, weak economy and more shoppers making purchases online. By David Sharp. AP photo Friday, Nov. 23 BLACK FRIDAY NEW YORK â¿¿ With Black Friday, you never know what you're going to get. Some years during this annual shopping rite of passage, shoppers line up in the wee hours of the morning to get TVs. Other years, the toys are the objects of their focus. Sometimes, things go off without a hitch. Other times, there's lots of pushing and fights break out. Either way, the official kickoff of the busy holiday shopping season is always a moneymaker: It's estimated that sales on Black Friday will be up 3.8 percent to $11.4 billion this year. By Retail Writer Anne D'Innocenzio AP photos. Saturday, Nov. 24 HOLIDAY SHOPPING TRENTON, N.J. â¿¿ Attention stores: It's OK to peek now. The first sales numbers showing how shoppers spent on Black Friday, the official kickoff to the shopping season, will be out on Saturday. By Business Writer Linda Johnson. AP photos Eds: Report expected at 4:15 p.m. EDT. Sunday, Nov. 25 HOLIDAY SHOPPING NEW YORK â¿¿ Will stores breathe a sigh of relief or prepare for a long, grueling holiday season? The National Retail Federation will release sales for the first weekend of the busy holiday shopping season on Sunday. Stores are hoping sales numbers will show that Americans are spending freely despite worries about the job market and a package of tax increases and spending cuts known as the "fiscal cliff" that will take effect in January unless Congress passes a budget deal by then. By Retail Writer Anne D'Innocenzio.
AP photos.Eds: Report expected at 1:30 p.m. EDT. Monday, Nov. 26 CYBER MONDAY NEW YORK â¿¿ It was big one year. Then, it wasn't. Now it's huge. Cyber Monday is sometimes the busiest online shopping day of the year, but it wasn't always. This year, comScore, a research firm, estimates that sales will reach $1.5 billion on Cyber Monday, up about 20 percent from last year. By Retail Writer Mae Anderson. AP photos. Tuesday, Nov. 27 SHOPPING WITH CELEBRITIES NEW YORK â¿¿ This holiday season you're likely to find singer Jennifer Lopez in Kohl's. Pop music icon Madonna in Macy's. And reality TV star Kim Kardashian in Sears. Well, not literally. But you'll certainly be able to find their clothing lines in these places as more retailers look to cash in on celebrity names by carrying exclusive merchandise made by the stars. The strategy can work: After all, who doesn't want to dress like a star? But these celeb lines aren't always a hit: The stars â¿¿ literally and figuratively â¿¿ have to be aligned for them to work. By Retail Writer Anne D'Innocenzio. AP photos and video. Wednesday, Nov. 28 ON THE MONEY-PRICE MATCH GUIDE NEW YORK â¿¿ Best Buy, Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart and other retailers are all offering to match the much-cheaper prices shoppers find online this year. But the retailers all have different rules. Some are confusing. Shoppers will need to be informed in order to take advantage of the price-matching deals. By Business Writer Joe Pisani. --0--