The busiest shopping day of the year varies each year for retailers, according Missouri Retailers Association President Dave Overfelt. He says Black Friday is traditionally the busiest day of the year, but sometimes it’s the weekend before Christmas.

Dave Overfelt

Dave Overfelt

“There’s competition and with the competition, they’re going to want to get their people in the stores and move their merchandise,” says Overfelt.

The National Retail Federation says an estimated six in 10 Americans will do their holiday shopping during this Thanksgiving weekend.

Overfelt expects deep discounts to continue throughout the holidays.

Some economists expect in-store holiday sales will increase 4 to 5% this season compared to 2015. Online shopping is expected to grow 7 to 10% in November and December compared to the same time period last year.

Gift card sales are expected to grow this holiday shopping season.Overfelt expects traditional toys like Barbies, dolls, GI Joe, Legos and Hot Wheels to be favorites.
Free shipping options are expected to be offered more than ever this holiday shopping season.

Retailers are expected to hire between 640,000 and 690,000 seasonal workers this holiday season, which is in line with last year’s 675,300 holiday positions.

Missouri’s unemployment rate dropped one-tenth of a percent in October to 5.1%. Overfelt says the latest unemployment figures show an increase in part-time work but a decline in full-time work. He says seasonal holiday employment generally helps with unemployment figures.

“Some of those jobs become full-time but some people do not want to keep those as full-time jobs. They take them as a part-time job to save money for something particular. It could be travel in the winter. It could be toys and Christmas,” says Overfelt.

He says the decline in full-time figures could be a result of a federal overtime rule that requires overtime pay for some salaried workers.