gas price's falling + bush's economy doing better yet again

Discussion in 'Economy' started by manu1959, Nov 26, 2005.

  1. manu1959
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    manu1959 Left Coast Isolationist

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    http://www.comcast.net/news/national/index.jsp?cat=DOMESTIC&fn=/2005/11/25/271368.html

    Retailers Say Crowds Bigger This Year
    By ANNE D'INNOCENZIO, AP Business Writer
    2 hours ago

    NEW YORK - The pre-dawn sales frenzy is over _ and now the tally begins. Steep discounts, enticing rebates and expanded hours drew hordes to the nation's retailing meccas Friday, and merchants saw hopeful signs that consumer spending will be lively for the holidays.

    More so than during last year's post-Thanksgiving rush, people jammed stores early, with more than a few testy shoppers scuffling in a rush to grab coveted, limited-quantity bargains.

    Several major retailers, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Macy's, as well as mall operator Taubman Centers Inc., estimated they drew bigger crowds for the official holiday season launch compared with last year.

    Lena Michaud, spokeswoman at Target Corp., which had a strong holiday season a year ago, said traffic was at least as heavy.

    Consumer electronics, including MP3 players, laptop computers, and even pricey flat-screen TVs, were the main attraction, but apparel also fared well, helped by the arrival of frigid weather in many parts of the country, according to Marshal Cohen, senior industry analyst at NPD Group Inc., a market research firm.

    No single standout was reported among toys, and popular items included electronics-laced items such as Hasbro Inc.'s Idog, Fisher-Price's Dora the Explorer's Talking Kitchen, and Zizzle Inc.'s iZ, according to John Barbour, president of Toys "R" Us' U.S. division, who reported "brisk" business.

    "This is the most promotional Black Friday we have seen," said Scott Krugman, a spokesman for the Washington-based National Retail Federation.

    The bargains were so good at Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which offered better deals than last year, that things got out of hand.

    In Cascade Township, east of Grand Rapids, Mich., a woman fell as dozens of people rushed into a store for the 5 a.m. opening. Several stepped on her, and a few became entangled as a man pushed them to the ground to keep them away.

    When the rush ended, the woman and a 13-year-old girl suffered minor injuries.

    Tempers flared at a Wal-Mart in Orlando, Fla., where a man allegedly cut in line to buy a bargain notebook computer and was wrestled to the ground, according to a video shown by an ABC affiliate, WFTV-TV.

    Discounted notebooks, particularly the $378 HP Pavilion notebooks, were not the only attractions at Wal-Mart, which also sold out of its $997 42-inch plasma TVs and 15-inch LCD TVs, priced at $178, in many stores, according to Gail Lavielle, a Wal-Mart spokeswoman. But apparel and toys also did well, she said.

    "We were pleased. We thought people did come to us first," said Lavielle.

    Terry Lundgren, chairman, president and chief executive of Federated Department Stores Inc., which operates Macy's, estimated the flagship Herald Square store attracted about 1,000 people for the 6 a.m. opening. "I have also seen a lot of bags," he said. Hot items included cashmere sweaters, down comforters and scarves, he said.

    "Today, things look really good. But these next five weeks are really critical," Lundgren added. "You have to wait and see how it unfolds."

    At a Best Buy Co. store at CambridgeSide Galleria, in Cambridge, Mass., the line of about 400 shoppers snaked through the indoor mall for the 5 a.m. store opening.

    "The prices are much better than last year," said Shirley Xie, 30, who was with Jen Lin, 35, both from Medford, Mass. The married couple said they were enticed by deals such as a Toshiba Corp. laptop computer with 15-inch screen that was $379.99 after a $370 instant rebate. Xie said a comparable laptop she bought last year as a gift cost about $600.

    The couple also bought a SanDisk Corp. MP3 player for $39.99 after a $60 instant rebate available until noon.

    At a Wal-Mart store in Strongsville, a suburb of Cleveland, the biggest crowds for the 5 a.m. opening were for portable DVD players, priced at $79.86; 20-inch TVs, priced at $89; and the Garth Brooks limited-edition, six-disc box set, priced at $25.

    Meanwhile, about 100 people lined up for the 6. a.m. opening in freezing weather outside the Super Target in Apex, N.C., about 10 miles south of Raleigh.

    Meredith Carter, 29, from Apex, took the first spot in line when she arrived around 4:50 a.m., about 10 minutes after the veteran Black Friday shopper woke up.

    By 6:05 a.m., she was buying one of two items on her list: a Kodak Easy Share digital camera for $89.99, saving about 50 percent. She was then off to find a George Foreman grill, also at half-price.

    "I plan to get what I want and go home," she said.

    Retailers' spirits have improved in recent weeks as gasoline prices have fallen. In fact, on Tuesday National Retail Federation upgraded its holiday growth forecast to 6 percent from the 5 percent it announced in September.

    Many shoppers are cautious, though. While gasoline prices have fallen, they are still high, and this winter shoppers will face higher heating bills.

    While the day after Thanksgiving officially starts the holiday shopping season, it is no longer the busiest shopping day. Last year, it was Saturday, Dec. 18, a week before Christmas, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers.

    Still, Black Friday sets an important tone for the rest of the season. What shoppers find in terms of deals and service "influences where they will shop for the rest of the season," said Federated's Lundgren.
     
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  2. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Yup, looking good. As for me, Amazon and Overstock are my friends. ;) Hope to keep going to the mall to the minimum.
     
  3. jon_forward
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    jon_forward Active Member

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    My Lady and I ventured out to k-mart at noon turkeyday and it was really packed. I think they were about the only game on thursday. we did get a real deal on a 12 inch bicycle with training wheels[huffy] for my Lady's granddaughter. 19.99!!! almost as cheap as Earl Shabb's!!
     
  4. KarlMarx
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    KarlMarx Senior Member

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    Meanwhile, Congress tries to tax the living crap out of the oil companies for turning a larger than average profit.....

    It's like a teacher who gives a test, then penalizes the kids who get "A"s because their grades were too high....

    And as a result of the oil windfall tax, who is the biggest winner? The government! They not only collect taxes at the pump, but tax the oil companies for the extra profits they make. Talk about a two-fer!!!!

    So the extra prices we pay at the pump will go to finance an overbloated government bureaucracy.... that alone should make us all want to trade in our cars for skateboards and heat our homes with whale oil....
     
  5. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    I cursed myself with the above. During the early morning, probably not long after posting the above, my computer died! :cry: So this morning went to Sear's and dropped $750. on a dishwasher. Then to Apple store and got a new G-5 for me and mini-mac for the daughter. $2k there. So I did my part to help the economy, but had to go to 2 malls! :shocked:
     
  6. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Looks like I'm not the only one that is looking at online shopping:

    http://www.newsday.com/business/ny-bzweb264528458nov26,0,5746309.story?coll=ny-business-headlines

     
  7. nosarcasm
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    nosarcasm Active Member

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    what do you need the expensive Apple computers for ?
     
  8. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Less than I spent on the Dell that died. 2k for both computers, 2 printers, MS Office for Students and Teachers-3 keys in the box, so one for each of us and a spare.
     
  9. nosarcasm
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    nosarcasm Active Member

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  10. insein
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    insein Senior Member

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    did that actually go through yet? Cause i know they were talking about it but did they actually pass a bill yet? If so its the biggest crock of shit ever. Tax a company for succeeding past their potential?

    Of course everyone goes along with it because they want to stick it to those evil oil companies. but whose winning? The people? No they have to pay for higher gas prices, again. The Oil companies? Hell no. They make less profits and they have to pay a larger chunk of what they do make to the government. Which leads us to the government. Make more money for doing nothing, make the people feel that they had a say in swaying government to punish a big bad corporation and make people more dependent on government itself. Sounds like the big sweep for the government in the win column.
     

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