Businesses big and small gearing up for holiday shopping

CARLSBAD — Every year people seem to gripe about the holidays coming earlier and earlier. Many stores are now opening on Thanksgiving evening for Black Friday, which traditionally started the day after the holiday.

With an economy slowly bouncing back, it makes sense that more Americans plan to partake in the shopping bonanza.

This year, 66 percent of American consumers are planning to shop on Black Friday to save on electronics, jewelry, apparel and more, according to a holiday survey by Accenture Research.

Personal finance Web site WalletHub ranked the best and worst chain stores offering Black Friday deals according to 22 chain retailers’ ad-fliers.

JC Penney was ranked the best with an overall average discount of 65 percent and Macy’s was second, with an average discount of 53 percent.

Costco received the worst score, with an average discount of 21 percent. Another big box store, Big Lots, was found at the bottom of the list, with an average discount of 25 percent.

For computers and phones, Office Depot and Office Max were ranked with the best deals. Kohl’s has the best deal on toys and furniture, while Sears’ apparel and accessories were ranked the most favorable for Black Friday markdowns.

According to WalletHub, jewelry is discounted the most on Black Friday and Kmart was ranked the best retailer to shop for jewelry.

Shoppers can expect an average discount of 68 percent on jewelry.

Computers and phones are discounted the least, with markdowns averaging 30 percent.

While Black Friday can easily become a frenzy, Deborah Owens, associate professor of Marketing at The University of Akron cautions against getting carried away.

“There is more hype than history behind Black Friday deals,” Owens said.

She advises shopping with a list to avoid unnecessary purchases.

“Only buy what is on your list, and avoid the hype by only purchasing those items that you know in advance are great deals,” Owens said.

A newer trend this holiday season is “Small Business Saturdays,” in which local businesses offer deals to encourage shoppers to spend close to home.

Proponents of shopping locally say that spending money in the local economy keeps dollars circulating in the local economy better than chain stores do.

A study done by Civic Economics, a data-driven analyst firm, did a study in Salt Lake City, Utah. They found that locally owned stores returned an average of 52 percent

of their revenue to the local economy.

In comparison, four major national chain stores recirculated an average of 13 percent to the local economy.

In Carlsbad, many retailers are offering deals on Small Business Saturday, including doodle art studio Viz Art Ink, vintage beach retailer Seaworthy and apparel boutique The Den.

Retailers throughout North County are participating in the event in Encinitas, Del Mar and Solana Beach.

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