Dec 102003
 
Authors: James Baetke

In the eyes of retailers across the country, the holiday

shopping frenzy is an important factor in determining next year’s

sales.

“As expected, consumers were out in full force,” said Tracy

Mullin, National Retail Federation president and CEO. “With the

economy in better shape and a little more money in consumers’

pockets, we are hopeful the momentum continues throughout the

holiday season.”

Traditionally, the day after Thanksgiving, better known to

retailers as Black Friday, was the busiest shopping day of the

year. But, instead, numbers show the Saturday before Christmas sees

more shoppers than any other day during the year.

“In the retail world, the Friday and weekend after Thanksgiving

are a key indicator to the shopping season,” May said.

David May, president and CEO of the Fort Collins Area Chamber of

Commerce, said he is also optimistic the economy will expand next

year for a better holiday season in 2004.

The term Black Friday was coined when businesses would climb out

of being in the red and “(into) the black” making a profit on the

day after Thanksgiving.

“Shopping during this season is insane. Pure chaos, but shopping

on Black Friday is smart because sales are all over the place,”

said Mitch Thompson, an Iowa City resident who was out shopping

Monday night.

According to the NRF, based in Washington D.C., nearly 72

percent of consumers were fighting crowds or waiting in long retail

lines on the Black Friday weekend.

NRF, the world’s largest retail trade organization, reported

this year’s Black Friday was slightly above last year’s numbers.

NRF also projects a 5.7 percent increase in holiday sales compared

to last year, bringing in an estimated $217 billion in revenue.

The national numbers may look higher than last year but it is

important to look locally, he said, adding that it will take time

to add more jobs and to make the city’s economy better.

Fort Collins is attempting to economically expand with the

Harmony Road Corridor and is trying to capitalize on the high-tech

industry to bring in jobs.

Some businesses in downtown are doing OK, especially with the

holiday season.

“Our business has been good. We keep fairly busy,” said Randy

Reider, manager at Garwood Jewelers, 131 S. College Ave. “Christmas

is a very important time for sales and the future.

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