- Krispy Kreme coming to Cape Girardeau (12/14/17)2
- Light and music show: Jackson family goes high-tech with Christmas display (12/11/17)
- Two Cape County residents, including former Jackson police officer, face burglary charges in Colorado (12/12/17)
- Cape schools to get two new principals, assistant superintendent (12/13/17)1
- Kelso resident brings home $60K in lottery winnings (12/14/17)
- Three-vehicle wreck ends up with parked car crashing through business wall (12/16/17)3
- Insurance building's renovation part of Coalter family's commitment to region (12/15/17)3
- New regents president named after Knudtson decides not to seek second term (12/18/17)
- Southeast rings bell for 807 December graduates (12/18/17)
Speaking of an improved economy ... .
It's looking to be a jolly Christmas for retailers.
The Thanksgiving weekend gave the nation's retailers a strong start to the holiday season.
Here in Cape Girardeau and Jackson, there were long lines in the early morning hours as stores opened on Black Friday, the retailers' name for the day after Thanksgiving because it's supposed to be the day stores go out of the red and into the black.
Total sales on that Friday were up 4.8 percent to $7.2 billion from the Friday after Thanksgiving a year ago. Some retailers here saw greater increases than that, some by as much as 20 percent over last year.
Shoppers also logged onto the Internet in large numbers.
Typically, online shopping begins the Monday after Thanksgiving, when many start shopping from their workplace computers. But this year, many online retailers saw sales spikes on Thanksgiving Day itself.
The strong sales look likely to continue. Some experts are forecasting a sales gain of 4.5 percent or higher for the November-December period, the best performance in four years.
For many stores, this year's sales performance is a welcome end to the slump of the past few years. Customers will benefit too, thanks to more sales and special offers.