Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday 2009

In an annual ritual, I will be heading into the teeth of the Black Friday crowds momentarily in Northern New Jersey's shopping mecca of Paramus. With four major malls and hundreds of major stores and national chains within such a concentrated area, crowds are to be expected.

But are they crowds that are spending lots of money? That's the billion dollar question for retailers.

I will be reporting back later with my findings from Paramus Park and other local malls.

Well, I've hit the malls, driven the main thoroughfares, and here's my take.

Bricks and mortar retailers may be in trouble. Crowds were out there, but no worse than a typical weekend in Paramus. Finding parking is a good barometer at the Garden State Plaza and Paramus Park, and neither was particularly difficult to do. Mrs. Lawhawk noted that JC Penny's was busy, while some of the other department stores were less so. Kohl's was busy, but no lines to checkout at 11:00AM. If you were a baker, they had a great deal on a Kitchen Aid 4.5 qt stand mixer, that after discounts and mail in rebate was $149.00

Sears was busy, particularly in the electronics and appliances area.

I suspect that many retailers were counting on online business to save the day, and I bought many of my gifts online this year - in fact many more than last year and I did so earlier than in past years. I found that prices actually were lower a few days ago on televisions that I was looking for than today.

I picked this Sharp Aquos 40 inch LED television this week, and while it isn't the slimmest television on the market, it is the most efficient LED television in its size.

I've paired it with an LG BD-270, which is a basic Blu-Ray player that doesn't have the net connectivity that is found in the BD-370.

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