November 23, 2012

Maine retailers eager for Black Friday

Black Friday looms, and some of the state’s bigger stores will open just after midnight on Thanksgiving to welcome customers.

By Jessica Hall jhall@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

Today's poll: Shopping on Thanksgiving

Do you think Maine’s large retailers should be allowed to open on Thanksgiving?

Yes

No

View Results

Today's poll: Black Friday

Do you plan to go shopping on Black Friday?

Yes

No

View Results

20121120_MallShop
click image to enlarge

Shoppers stroll the corridors of the Maine Mall on Tuesday, beating Black Friday crowds and taking advantage of the fact that retailers are holding sales earlier in the season, including events tied to Veterans Day.

20121120_MallShop
click image to enlarge

Susan Perkins of Fairfield says she likes shopping at the Maine Mall when the crowds are smaller. “There’s already great sales,” she said Tuesday.

Photos by Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer

Additional Photos Below

Related headlines

Sales for some items are expected to be brisk, even among cautious shoppers.

The hottest toys this year include LeapFrog Enterprises' $99.99 LeapPad 2 Explorer tablet, MGA Entertainment's Lalaloopsy dolls, Mattel's Monster High Ghouls Rule dolls and Mega Brands' Mega Bloks Skylanders construction sets, according to TimetoPlayMag.com.

Also likely to sell well are flat-screen televisions, such as the 32-inch Emerson for $148 at Walmart, and other electronics such as Apple's iPad.

Analysts also expect luxury brands to sell well.

"Last year, we saw a return to more higher-end purchases and more luxury brands. During the recession, that had disappeared," Picard said. "We're seeing the economy improving baby step by baby step."

Stores have put more emphasis on layaway plans this year, and have increased their use of technology to keep shoppers aware of deals through Facebook, Twitter, blogs and online advertising.

The days of waiting for sales promotions in the daily newspaper on Black Friday are over, as retailers telegraph weeks in advance what their holiday promotions will be, analysts said.

"It's critical for retail companies to constantly evolve as consumers do, and right now shoppers want great deals, good value, and convenience -- exactly what we're seeing with this season's late and early openings, price-matching, layaway, and mobile offerings," said National Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay.

Layaway has played a bigger role in retailers' holiday strategies, with Walmart cutting its layaway fee from $15 to $5 to compete with rivals that offer lower-priced layaway plans.

Toys R Us waived its layaway fee on purchases made by Oct. 31, and Kmart cut its layaway service fee from Sept. 7 to Nov. 17.

Even with the slowly improving economy, shoppers are paring their lists and checking prices.

"You can't buy gifts for everyone," said Perkins, from Fairfield. "Each year, the list gets a little smaller. Just family."

Staff Writer Jessica Hall can be contacted at 791-6316 or at:

jhall@pressherald.com

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors


Additional Photos

click image to enlarge

LeapFrog Enterprises’ LeapPad 2 Explorer tablet is one of this year’s hottest selling toys. It retails for $99.99.

  


Further Discussion

Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)


Today's poll: Shopping on Thanksgiving

Do you think Maine’s large retailers should be allowed to open on Thanksgiving?

Yes

No

View Results

Today's poll: Black Friday

Do you plan to go shopping on Black Friday?

Yes

No

View Results

e-Edition

paper

The daily paper delivered to your computer or tablet!

Browse page by page, including stories and ads, with interactive features that make reading a breeze from wherever you are.

Already a print subscriber?
Connect your account for continued access. Not a subscriber? Become one.

Subscriptions start at only $8/month.

Go to the e-Edition

 

Hoping to read The Root or Golden Dish? Find them at MaineToday.com.

Blogs

Maine, Naturally - Yesterday
Fun Earth Day Video: Of Bogs and Bonfires
Commercial Confidential - Tuesday
Earth Day post: the boom in bag bans

More PPH Blogs

Maine's Top Jobs