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WalletHub: Thanksgiving & Holiday Shopping Report

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The often hectic holiday season is now upon us.  And with it comes the season for spending.  Black Friday sales abound and shoppers often shift into overdrive.  WalletHub just issued a new study on shopping trends, deals and news about consumers’ spending and- debt.

“We’re looking at the best and worst retailers, items, credit cards. Best gift cards and our shopping trends for season.”

Jill Gonzalez is a WalletHub analyst.  She says one of the trends they looked at in their new study is the number of Americans that are holding on to debt from last year…

“About 35 million Americans still have debt from last holiday season, so it makes sense that about a third said they’re going to spend less than last year.  So that’s what the people are saying, the National Retailer Federation is predicting an increase in spending, so it’s going to be interesting to see who was right.”

Gonzalez says the answer to that question could come from another part of their survey… which reveals consumers thoughts about “Black Friday”.

“Over half of people don’t think that Black Friday sales are anything special now. That could show what we see about where money is spent.  So that’s another thing, people don’t look at Black Friday like they used to.”

With that said… there are still a ton of sales and lots of stores offering special deals.  Gonzalez they found that Kohls, J C Penney, Beals and Belk may have up to 70- percent off.. some of the best deals they’re seeing.  Gonzalez says if you’re in the market for jewelry, you may find good deals as much as 50 percent off. 

Whether shoppers hold back or spend more, Gonzalez says one thing they should all watch out for is the danger of deferred interest.

“Deferred interest is essentially what many retailers offer, when you see signs that say, 0 percent financing. Even though you get 0 percent interest, it’s only for a limited time. And if you have any money left to pay off after the intro period, you’re actually going to be charged retroactively on your entire purchase, rather than the 20 bucks left on your 800-dollar TV, that you still have left to pay off.  So, just be aware of that always, but especially during holiday shopping season.”

You can find the full report at WalletHub.com