The holiday shopping season kicks off this weekend

Meals have been eaten and naps have been had, and now it’s time to get serious about our holiday shopping. But for many of us, getting the best bang for our buck started weeks ago. In years past shoppers lined up outside store doors waiting to snag the perfect gift at a discount. But with shopping deals rolling out earlier and earlier, Daniel Roccato, clinical professor of finance at University of San Diego, says Black Friday has really morphed into a gray November.

Online or in a store, more than 180 million people are expected to dish out their shopping dollars this weekend. Despite that number, Roccato says shoppers may be a little more moderate with their spending this year. According to the¬†National Retail Federation, this year’s kickoff to the holiday shopping season will be the busiest since they began tracking numbers in 2017.

“People are already coming early and getting their presents and all sorts of stuff,” says Mike Thorpe, manager at Sports Den in Salt Lake City.

Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is Small Business Saturday. Small Business Saturday was founded by American Express in 2010 and cosponsored by the U.S. Small Business Association in 2011.

Bill Sartain, co-owner of Tutoring Toy in Salt Lake City says, “A lot of the things you find in here come from smaller manufacturers from around the world.”

The push to support local business is top of mind for small business owners. Some say the personal connection is crucial in the shopping process.

“Online, there’s endless options and there’s endless opinions and that usually doesn’t help anybody make a decision”, says Zach Roberts, manager at Great Outdoor Provision in Virginia Beach.

According to a Bankrate survey, 72% of people will shop at a small business this year, which is up from 65% last year. 

The National Retail Federation says holiday shopping sales in 2023 could top $950 billion.