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Nov. 10, 2017
By Seth BlomeleyFor the U of A System Division of Agriculture
Download Word versionLITTLE ROCK – With bellies full of Thanksgiving turkey, many Arkansans quickly turn
their attention to Christmas shopping as Black Friday beckons.
Black Friday is, of course, the day after Thanksgiving when stores record huge sales
by luring customers in with flowery ads promising money-saving deals.
Do homework to avoid financial trapsSmart shoppers can take advantage of the sales by following a few helpful guidelines
and avoid the financial pitfalls of poor planning and impulse buys that can quickly
sink holiday budgets, said Laura Hendrix, associate professor of personal finance
and consumer economics at the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.
“Advertisers will work really hard to appeal to emotions,” Hendrix said.
She recommends that shoppers educate themselves as to the regular prices of items
so they know for sure that advertised savings are real. Shoppers should also compare
prices and shop around for big-ticket items.
What makes Black Friday such an attraction for holiday shoppers?
“Some shoppers really want to save but others really want to enjoy the event,” Hendrix
said. “There is a little bit of a buzz. It can be rewarding or fun. It depends on
what you are looking for on Black Friday.”
Although the Internet has certainly taken its share of holiday customers, for others,
shopping online is a poor substitute for after-turkey trips to the mall. For these
shoppers, Black Friday is a social event not to be missed.
She cautioned that retail outlets attract customers by marketing big savings on particular
items, hoping that will lead customers to spend more buying items on impulse. She
said those big-ticket items on sales are called “loss leaders” because the store will
take a loss on those items on the hope they will lead to more purchases.
Great expectationsThe holiday shopping season is critical to the bottom line of many retailers.
According to the National Retail Federation, holiday retail sales in November and
December – excluding automobiles, gasoline and restaurants – are expected to increase
between 3.6 and 4 percent for a total of $678.75 billion to $682 billion, up from
$655.8 billion last year.
Individual consumers are projected to spend an average of $967.13, up 3.4 percent
from last year.
“Sit down ahead of time and look at how much you want to spend for the entire holiday
season so you know how much you safely spend on Black Friday,” Hendrix said. “In your
holiday budget, include everything: travel, parties, holiday decorations, meals, travel,
shopping on credit. Plan ahead by knowing the specific gifts you need to purchase
on Black Friday.”
Most major retailer even open Thanksgiving evening. For a list of store hours see:
For more information about making smart consumer decisions, contact your county extension
office, or visit www.uaex.uada.edu.
About the Division of AgricultureThe University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen
agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption
of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative
Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work
within the nation’s historic land grant education system.
The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas
System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension
and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity,
sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran
status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative
Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
# # #
Media Contact: Mary HightowerDir. of Communication ServicesU of A System Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service(501) email@example.com