November 26th, 2008
01:27 PM ET

You have the upper hand

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/26/art.blackfriday.jpg]

Donna Rosato
Senior Writer, Money magazine

The day after Thanksgiving is traditionally known as Black Friday because – as the busiest shopping day of the year – it goes a long way toward determining whether retailers end up “in the black” – making a profit, rather than "in the red," which is a loss.

This year, retailers are bleeding red ink in the worst slowdown in decades. More than half of consumers say they will be spending less on holiday gifts this year and nearly a third plan to spend “much less” than last year, reports the Consumer Federation of America and the Credit Union National Association. That "more than half" is up from 30% to 35% of consumers who said they planned to cut back in the 2003-2007 years.

That means shoppers have the upper hand. To lure you in, retailers have been slashing prices on everything since September from cars to clothes. The discounts on Black Friday could be epic this year.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Donna Rosato • Economy