The first spending decline on a Black Friday weekend since 2009 reinforced projections for a lackluster holiday, increasing chances retailers will extend the deep discounts already hurting their profit margins.
A gauge of U.S. company credit risk held at about a six-year low after declining for a third month. Credit-default swaps tied to J.C. Penney Co. declined to the lowest level since September as the holiday shopping season got under way.
Two banners showing images of entrepreneur Daymond John, a co-founder of the FUBU clothing line and one of the resident predators on ABC’s “Shark Tank” television show, loomed at the front of a hotel meeting room as fledgling business owners and would-be entrepreneurs filed in.
U.S. retailers expecting to ring up sales in the days after Christmas may have to intensify discounts after a snowstorm slammed the East Coast yesterday, disrupting one of the busiest shopping days of the year.
Dave Murphy , president and chief operating officer of Red Wing Shoe Co., got hearty applause when he announced record earnings for 2010 -- $448 million, up 12 percent from 2009 -- at this year’s shareholder meeting in Red Wing, Minn. But the announcement that got the roughly 150 shareholders out of their seats for a standing ovation was not about dividends or returns. It was the 315 employees the company hired in 2010, bringing head count close to 2,200 today.
Shoppers at stores from Best Buy Co. to Gap Inc. and Toys “R” Us Inc. all said in a recent poll that they’ll spend less this holiday season than last year. Customers plan to buy more at only one chain: Costco Wholesale Corp.