Sales surge for a strong start to the holiday shopping season | WLUK

BROWN COUNTY (WLUK) — The numbers are in, and retailers like what they see: Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday sales are on the rise.

It was pretty calm at Bay Park Square Mall in Ashwaubenon on Cyber Monday, but that’s just how some shoppers like it.

“We like to wait until things die down a little bit and then hopefully catch some sales and just make do with what we’ve got in a less busy place,” said Don Calhoun from Wausau.

The calm after the storm is a stark contrast to what shoppers encountered over the weekend.

According to Susan Videle with Bay Park Square Mall, “Black Friday crowds were big this year. A lot of people came out with their families, wanted the experience. We were very happy to see large crowds, like we saw last year, so I don’t see any indication that spending is down this year.”

Locally owned stores, like The Heel — which encouraged people to shop “Small Business Saturday” through special promotions — saw record breaking numbers, a pleasant surprise to what they were expecting.

“We were really just hoping to be flat with last year. People talking about the economy not being as strong, but we were blown away that our business gained so much. We actually our traffic up significantly — well over double digit gains in business,” said Troy Dempsey, owner of The Heel.

For as great as foot traffic was in stores during the holiday shopping weekend, online sales were even better.

Aniruddha Pangarkar, an assistant professor of marketing at UW-Green Bay, said, “A lot of people, especially from the Gen Y and Gen Z, the millennials, they are using their mobile phones and apps to make shopping purchases, so that’s a very big trend.”

According to Forbes, Black Friday online shopping was up 7.5%. Shoppers spent nearly $10 billion online — just on Friday. That number is expected to be closer to $40 billion by the end of Tuesday, when Cyber Monday sales end.

Despite talk of a recession and concerns with inflation and unrest overseas, experts say Americans will continue to shop and those holiday deals.

Pangarkar added, “In this country, we have seen that consumers really don’t care much about economic recession. They care about living for the moment. They want a gift for themselves, so self-gifting, gifting for family, friends — that’s big on their priority list.”

Source: Sales surge for a strong start to the holiday shopping season | WLUK

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