TOWSON, Md. (WJZ)– Thanksgiving is still weeks away, but retailers are gearing up for the holiday shopping season. Stores will fight a tough economy with aggressive Black Friday deals.

Kai Jackson explains Maryland companies are cautiously optimistic.

Retailers can only be as optimistic as shoppers are willing to spend.

A Friday night at Towson Town Center in Baltimore County, and the mall is packed with shoppers.

“Today we went shopping with her (her daughter’s) money, so everything we got was on sale,” shopper Amy Chenoweth said.

Sales are what many shoppers will be looking for this holiday season. The Maryland Retail Association is optimistic. The organization has announced it expects to see an increase in buying this year, up roughly 2-2.5 percent.

“That covers November and December,” MRA President Patrick Donoho said. “Hopefully, consumers will come out and shop their local retailer.”

Retailers’ outlook about holiday shopping is facing an economic reality. Many Americans don’t have jobs, so they can’t take care of the basic necessities, let alone go out and buy gifts.

Reporter: “What’s the economy like for a 20-year-old college student these days?”
Monique Martin: “Very hard. We’re broke.”

Martin is a student at Morgan State University. She’s looking for a seasonal job that will allow her to buy Christmas gifts.

“I’m struggling, my friends are struggling, my parents are struggling and I’m out of state, too,” she said.

Reporter: “Is it right to really push people to go buying and shopping when many Americans don’t have jobs today?”
Charles Crerand, Towson Town Center Manager: “We’re really hoping this additional business, this additional shopping is going to generate more jobs.”

The MRA said fourth quarter sales are typically the biggest of the year.

Maryland retailers say they are competing with Internet sales and states that don’t have sales taxes.

Comments (3)
  1. ciara says:

    I’m so glad I don’t have to buy anything for Christmas. My grown son and I do not buy gifts. We just call and say I love you. I could never understand why people go out and spend so much money for 1 day and then they are broke.

  2. grace says:

    I guess they want all states to have sales taxes now. Competition is always going to be there. And, when times where GREAT they didn’t offer the greatest deals…so suck it up retailers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Helen says:

    This is ok for the big stores, who can afford to offer merchandise well off 50% and still make a profit, but for small businesses, we can’t do that. When I offer something at 50% that is my cost and at that point I might as well close, which is why so many of our local small businesses are closing. Sad. We are losing the mom and pop stores because we can not compete with big box stores and the internet, but please remember when you shop at a local small businesses over 40% of what you spend there stays in YOUR community.

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