Black Friday’s comeback highlights economic divide as inflation slams shoppers The return of the shopping weekend gives shoppers a chance to buy goods at lower prices
CINCINNATI — It’s been a long time since Americans gathered at the nation’s shopping malls for a chance to get cheaper goods and services. But a return to the country’s malls is on the horizon with the annual two-day celebration of the holiday shopping season.
And with that, the economic divide between shoppers and retailers is showing clear signs of widening. While the middle class is struggling to make ends meet, the super wealthy have the ability to go as far as they need to in order to make a profit.
The return of the holiday shopping season gives shoppers a chance to buy goods at lower prices. And retailers are hoping that they can turn that opportunity into cash, because of a series of factors, from the ongoing national trade war to the strength of sales at the malls to the economy’s new normal.
Some shoppers are finding deals on appliances, televisions and computers, while others are heading to the mall to shop for the clothing, electronics and other goods they need.
And as the economic recovery from the 2008 recession unfolds, even more of a drag on household spending is likely to occur as inflation becomes more of a worry for consumers, even as income continues to rise.
Retailers are hoping that this year’s sales push will be enough to offset the effects, by offering discounts and free shipping.
Here’s a look at what to expect at the malls for the holidays this year.
• U.S. retailers are set to make a record $5.5 billion in combined sales, according to the National Retail Federation and thefigures obtained from the Commerce Department.
• Walmart is making $5.9 billion in sales, a whopping 16.8 percent jump from its $5.4 billion the prior year. Walmart is also the No. 1 retailer in the U.S. for sales because of an increasing number of its stores.
• Dollar General is at the top of its game, with $6.3 billion in sales, a 14.9 percent increase from the previous year.
• Amazon’s Amazon.com Inc. is expected to have a record $1.15 billion in sales this year to beat the previous record $1 billion that it set in 2016, according to IBISWorld data.
• The sales of electronics, furniture and other items are also expected