New York/Raleigh News
Shoppers took to stores across the world on Black Friday, looking for discounted electronics, clothing, and household goods in the kickoff to the holiday shopping season crucial to big retailers. Brokerage TD Cowen lowered its U.S. holiday spending estimate to 2% to 3% growth, from 4% to 5%, as it forecast flat Black Friday traffic. People have already got what they want,” said David Klink, senior analyst at Huntington Private Bank, which owns shares of Walmart and Target. “There are only so many big-screen TVs and Alexa you can buy.” With many consumers squeezed by persistent inflation and high interest rates, U.S. holiday spending is expected to rise at the slowest pace in five years. People are spending, but they’re spending more conservatively. A record 130.7 million people are expected to shop in stores and online in the U.S. on Black Friday this year, the National Retail Federation estimates. Shoppers spent an estimated $7.3 billion online through 6:30 p.m. Eastern on Black Friday. Whether those deals will attract inflation-weary consumers is the biggest worry for retailers. On Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, shoppers were unimpressed. Carlos Araejo-Ruiz, 17, hoped for a deal on designer belts at Nordstrom.