The election of Donald Trump as the next US president filled many Americans with a sense of uncertainty.
As the holiday shopping seasons kicks off with Black Friday, the country is about to get an answer to a crucial question: what happens to the retail industry now that Trump has been elected?
This year, sales in the holiday shopping season of November and December, excluding cars, gas, and restaurant sales, are expected to hit $655.8 billion, the National Retail Federation reported in October. That’s an increase from $626.1 billion in sales last year.
However, this prediction was made a month before Election Day. With Donald Trump’s win, there have been concerns on how the president-elect will impact shoppers’ behavior.
Prior to the election, many said Trump’s unpredictable nature would be bad news for the economy. Citigroup went as far to predict that a Trump victory could cause a global recession.
These concerns followed Trump after Election Day. Soon after the election, analysts told CNBC that a Trump win creates an atmosphere of uncertainty, especially among upper-class shoppers who tend to be big spenders, something that could hurt holiday sales. Because the election was so divisive, Hillary Clinton supporters were expected to spend less this year.
Despite early concerns, signs are pointing towards a successful start to the holiday shopping season — one of the first major tests Donald Trump needs to pass if he wants to fulfill his promise to grow the American economy.
Black Friday may be decreasing in importance, but the NRF found that 137.4 million people were planning or considering shopping during Thanksgiving weekend this year, an increase from last year’s 135.8 million people. And, some retailers are already celebrating, with Target’s CEO saying on Thursday evening that Thanksgiving may be the retailer’s biggest online shopping day of all time.
Some economists are theorizing America’s economic boost since Trump’s election is not due to which candidate won. Instead, they’re connecting growth to a sense of relief that the election is finally over — something that the NRF says is likely to put Americans in the mood to shop deals.
For retailers, the reasons behind a successful holiday season are less important than that people actually buy their products. A successful Black Friday signifies a promising start to the most important wonderful time of the year — at least when it comes to retail sales.
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