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Early Black Friday could make or break Q4 retail results, study says

Reuters API
today Nov 16, 2018
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The biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday, is almost upon us and, according to Refinitiv, retailers are going to have to discount much more than usual because the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday lands on the early side. 

This year's Christmas shopping period kicks off on Nov. 23 but it gets stretched over five weekends, meaning retailers will be forced to plan additional promotions, Refinitiv said. So the festival which supposedly "turns red ink into black on the ledgers" may make or break fourth quarter results for some firms, Refinitiv warns.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll indicates 38 percent of American consumers plan to shop that day and of those, 37 percent will shop mainly online. Online spending over the 2018 holiday season will grow 14.8 percent from a year ago, outpacing the 2.7 percent growth predicted for brick-and-mortar locations, Adobe Analytics estimates.

Black Friday will also focus attention on U.S. retailers' earnings. These have so far been a mixed bag; Walmart has posted robust sales and raised its full-year outlook, while Nordstrom and J.C. Penney were less fortunate. Next week will bring third quarter results from the likes of Target, Gap, Best Buy and Dollar Tree.

Refinitiv data may offer clues as to where shoppers are heading with their dollars; discount and speciality sectors may be the strongest performers, with department stores the weakest, its analysis shows.


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