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Black Friday Merchants See Americans Exhaling After Election

Now that Election Tuesday is over, retailers are counting on Americans turning their attention to Black Friday.

The National Retail Federation projects that about 137.4 million consumers will make purchases in stores or online over the four-day weekend that starts on Thanksgiving, marking the kickoff to the holiday shopping season. The amount Americans have spent has declined in the last three years, slipping 26 percent from 2013 to an average of $299.60 per person last year, according to the trade group.

By most accounts, this holiday season is expected be a boon for retailers. Unemployment, gasoline prices and inflation are low, while wages, home values and the stock market continue to rise. Shoppers have the wherewithal to spend, and now retailers are hoping the holiday season will give them a reason to. Companies such as Kohl’s Corp., Gap Inc. and Barnes & Noble Inc. have said the U.S. presidential election was a major cause of consumers’ recent reluctance to open their wallets. With the outcome settled, they’re expecting the dollars to finally flow.

“We’ve had some, we believe, pent-up demand -- just based on the economics of our consumer,” J.C. Penney Co. Chief Executive Officer Marvin Ellison said in an interview this month. “We’re anticipating we’ll see pent-up demand released, and it being post-election will only help that.”

U.S. retail spending is expected to rise 3.6 percent to $655.8 billion in November and December, the Washington-based NRF estimates. Retailers are poised to take full advantage of the Thanksgiving holiday period, now known by some as Black Week, which accounts for about 15 percent of holiday spending, according to the trade group. 





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 Jostler    2,230

it's 8:30 am on the US east coast.  Do you know where your children are?  :)  People of Wal-Mart, do yo thang :)

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