In the eyes of retailers across the country, the holiday
shopping frenzy is an important factor in determining next year’s
“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
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
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
“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.