Blog: Black Friday boosted by bargains
Leonie Barrie | 5 December 2011
US retailers posted a mixed bag of results in November, with earlier opening hours and Black Friday bargains helping to drive consumer traffic over the Thanksgiving weekend for some, but tougher comparisons with the year-ago period and weaker sales during the rest of the month weighing on others.
Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year and the traditional start to the holiday shopping season, so November retail sales are watched closely for first signs of how the holiday season is likely to pan out. During the month, same-store sales growth slowed to 3.3% - but traffic and spending over the Thanksgiving weekend reached historic highs of $52.4bn according to a survey by the National Retail Federation.
After years of speculation and fierce debate, India looks set to ease restrictions on foreign investment in its booming retail sector. Business organisations and multinationals have welcomed the decision, but politicians remain divided on the issue.
Meanwhile, US retailer Marks & Spencer has provided an update on the progress of its Plan A ethical and sustainability programme - including its "Ethical Excellence" award for a denim factory in Bangladesh and a woven fabrics unit in Indonesia. Separately, the firm said it will begin selling a cashmere coat made from recycled fibres, which it claims is the UK's first closed loop clothing product from a major retailer.
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