Black Friday marks the traditional start of the holiday shopping season – never mind all those stores that opened Thanksgiving Night – and it could be a good one for California retailers.
Chapman University economist Raymond Sfeir is projecting a 4.6 percent increase in fourth quarter sales.
“It is actually spread over almost all the categories,“ Sfeir says: general merchandise, specialty stores, furniture, and to a lessser extent, apparel.
The biggest reason is that California has added more than 300,000 new jobs this year, giving those Californians additional financial security and consumer confidence this holiday season.
“More and more people really are holding a job,“ Sfeir says. “And that’s very encouraging, because they will be also spending, and hoping that they will be keeping those jobs.”
Low gas prices will also help: “That will give the consumers a little bit more extra money to spend,“ Sfeir says.