Wednesday, May 22 2013 10:58 AM EDT2013-05-22 14:58:14 GMT
The Ohio Supreme Court will not hear an appeal from Ryan Widmer for a fourth trial. Widmer is serving a 15 years to life sentence for killing his wife, Sarah, in the bathtub of the couple's Hamilton TownshipFull Story >
The Ohio Supreme Court will not hear an appeal from Ryan Widmer for a fourth trial.Full Story >
A local author has written a children's book that features Cincinnati scenes.Full Story >
(RNN) – Stores are hoping the spending trend this year will continue on its upward course, including the world's largest retailer, which is banking on shoppers looking for deals early.
The National Retail Federation, the trade association that represents stores worldwide, expects holiday shoppers will spend an average of $749.51 on things like gifts, decor and greeting cards. That's an increase of nearly a dollar from the previous year.
It may not seem like a lot, but overall holiday spending is expected to top $586.1 billion, a 4.1 percent increase.
That's a far-reaching prediction given the uncertainty in the economy, but it came several weeks before the presidential election.
President Barack Obama's successful bid for a second year in office caused slight panic in the financial world. The Dow Jones plunged less than 24 hours after Election Day amid fears that spending under Obama's administration combined with a split Congress will prevent lawmakers from extending tax cuts and funding to federal financial support programs beyond the Dec. 31 deadline.
However, the NRF had reported spending in September was up from August and from the same month a year ago.
"This is the most optimistic forecast NRF has released since the recession," said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. "In spite of the uncertainties that exist in our economy and among consumers, we believe we'll see solid holiday sales growth this year."
Shay acknowledged that reaction to the election, confusion about the "fiscal cliff" and concerns about future economic growth could combine to affect spending. But overall, he was confident that promotions from retailers would lure in customers.
The number of shoppers that arrive at stores before midnight has risen from 3 percent in 2009 to 24 percent last year, according to the NRF.
Walmart is one such company that is laying the bait. It announced recently that it would open at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving, the earliest ever, instead of the morning of Black Friday.
Walmart joined several retail stores last year in opening their doors at midnight, much earlier than traditional Black Friday openings. The move struck gold with shoppers but prompted protests from employees in several cities.
The retail giant is so confident its 8 p.m. Thanksgiving opening will go over with consumers that it made heavy investments in merchandise and guaranteed shoppers waiting in line access to a trio of electronic purchases – the iPad 2, 32-inch Emerson LCD TV and LG Blu-ray player.
"We bought deep, very deep, and we bought deep on items that matter to our customers," Walmart U.S. Chief Merchandising and Marketing Officer Duncan Mac Naughton told Reuters. "We got customer feedback that says ‘I like to shop earlier so I can go to bed earlier.'"
If stores run out of any of the three electronic items promised to waiting customers, Walmart will issue them a redeemable card for all the items. But buyers have to pay for them by midnight and register them online, and they will be shipped to the store.
Other stores including Sears, Kmart and Toys R Us will also open on Thanksgiving Day.
Dark side to Black Friday
Standing in long lines and fighting crowds to grab that coveted flat-screen TV or video game console might not provide the payoff you think.
Decide Inc., an online consumer price research company, released data that shows certain electronics are not sold at their lowest prices the day after Thanksgiving. The Wall Street Journal reported the data, which Decide Inc. acquired by comparing more than 50 stores and online retailers for a period of at least two years.
The company found that several items – especially watches and jewelry – get more expensive as the holiday season progresses. In fact, some popular items are at their lowest several months before or after the holidays.
That should be music to the ears of most shoppers because only 16 percent plan to begin shopping in the first two weeks of December, according to an NRF poll. The same poll showed the majority of shoppers planned to begin their holiday shopping before Halloween.
Even if items are at their lowest on Black Friday, the high demand limits buyers' chances of getting what they want. It's also important to keep in mind that stores restock for the Christmas season and are willing to lower prices to dump inventory.
Some stores will slash prices on unsold items like clothes and shoes the day after Black Friday because, unlike a TV or a camera, one item cannot conform to every person and stores don't want them sitting on shelves.
The competition that internet shopping poses makes pricing for traditional stores both a headache and a gamble. Besides avoiding traffic and crowds, online shoppers can compare price tags more quickly and stand a higher chance of snagging a good deal.
Target and Best Buy offer online price matching during certain times of the season. Walmart only does price matching in its physical stores.
Online shopping is again expected to follow the rising trend in recent years and provide a boon for the holiday sales season.
Shop.org coined the term "Cyber Monday" in 2005. According to a joint study that year with BizRate Research, more than three quarters of online retailers reported significant spikes in their sales on the Monday following Thanksgiving.
A 2010 comScore report said that Cyber Monday was the biggest retail shopping day that year, yielding more than $1 billion in sales. Sales reached an all-time high of 1.25 billion last year.
Shop.org, a branch of the NRF, runs Cybermonday.com which directs shoppers to hundreds of retailers offering online discounts. The organization predicted that Cyber Monday sales would rise another 12 percent this season.
Online retailers are also designing promotions to attract shoppers and keep them on their sites longer which, of course, means more money.
"In addition to enhancing the site experience, retailers have spent the year investing in optimizing their mobile and social platforms, just what holiday shoppers are looking for," said Shay.
Copyright 2012 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.
Monday, November 19 2012 2:37 PM EST2012-11-19 19:37:19 GMT
(RNN) - Family and friends will be gathering together during the holiday season for dinners, parties, and gift exchanges and many will document the festive season. To get that perfect memento of the season,Full Story >
The holiday gatherings are the perfect time to photograph friends and loved ones. Here are some tips to make sure your pictures make the memories last.Full Story >
Wednesday, May 22 2013 7:16 AM EDT2013-05-22 11:16:10 GMT
A big clean up is underway at Amelia High School following a prank. Several trees were toilet papered and the sign in front of the school was also changed. No word on any suspects in the prankFull Story >
No word on any suspects in the prank or if the school system plans to punish those responsible.Full Story >
Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:31 PM EDT2013-05-22 02:31:55 GMT
The claim that the ongoing IRS scandal is limited to low level employees is falling apart. The six Cincinnati workers we have identified, who sent scrutinizing letters to conservative groups with wordsFull Story >
The claim that the ongoing IRS scandal is limited to low level employees is falling apart. Full Story >
Monday, May 20 2013 5:09 PM EDT2013-05-20 21:09:30 GMT
A Warren County government office is evacuated after a suspicious powder is found. The Health and Human Services Center building on East Street in Lebanon was evacuated just after 11:00 on Monday. PoliceFull Story >
Police say that HAZMAT crews and the FBI were called to investigate the powder. The FBI has since left. Full Story >
Wednesday, May 22 2013 8:06 AM EDT2013-05-22 12:06:35 GMT
A suspect in a wild police chase in Reading earlier this month is arrested after a chase in Warren County. The Warren County chase started near Little Miami High School around 11:30 Tuesday night whenFull Story >
A suspect in a wild police chase in Reading earlier this month is arrested after a chase in Warren County.Full Story >
Monday, May 20 2013 9:21 AM EDT2013-05-20 13:21:47 GMT
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - An Army wife who lost over 100 pounds while her husband was away in Afghanistan surprised the soldier Wednesday when he arrived at Wilmington International Airport. Misty Shaffer,Full Story >
A soldier from Wilmington returns from Afghanistan to a big surprise: a new wife, a new house and a different child.Full Story >
Wednesday, May 22 2013 8:42 AM EDT2013-05-22 12:42:17 GMT
A mother who missed her college graduation in order to attend her daughter's dance recital received a surprise ceremony on Monday. Kara Perkins agreed to go along when one of her friends said she neededFull Story >
A mother who missed her college graduation in order to attend her daughter's dance recital received a surprise ceremony on Monday.Full Story >
An Oregon girl abducted as a baby and missing for 18 years finally emerged in Dallas this week when her mother turned herself in to authorities, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Department. Full Story >
An Oregon girl abducted as a baby and missing for 18 years finally emerged in Dallas this week when her mother turned herself in to authorities, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Department.Full Story >
Tuesday, May 21 2013 8:41 PM EDT2013-05-22 00:41:37 GMT
EF5 tornadoes are a very rare occurrence in U.S. History. Before Monday's EF5 tornado in Oklahoma, there had only been 58 in the United States since 1950, when reliable records began. That number isFull Story >
EF5 tornadoes are a very rare occurrence in U.S. History.Full Story >
Monday, May 6 2013 1:29 PM EDT2013-05-06 17:29:07 GMT
A man charged with public indecency is expected to appear in court. Police say 36-year-old Jason Fletcher and Laura Oditt engaged in sexual conduct in a public place. The location is not named in courtFull Story >
A man charged with public indecency is expected to appear in court.Full Story >
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