It was supposed to be retailer’s big weekend, but actually they may end up losing money. Despite the promotional campaign, Thanksgiving weekend has not been very comforting: although sales rose, consumers spent less- $57.4 billion, down from $59.1 billion last year, according to the National Retail Association.
Even if the U.S. is on the path to recovery, with gasoline prices going down and stocks reaching records, the real economy is still under a lot of pressure because of unemployment (7.3%) and underemployment (estimated at 15%). Also, people working under the minimum wage and trying to make ends meet are very aware of their budgets.
For retailers this is a major challenge. They already have to compete during the year to attract customers who are very used to deals and rebates and even use coupons on a daily basis. Now they are focusing on getting them shopping in the three weeks left before Christmas.
Some major chains like Walmart did not hesitate in stretching their staff working hours, which prompted workers’ protests around the country.