There are five fewer shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, and retailers across the state are feeling the pinch, said Kyle Jackson, Georgia State Director of the National Federation of Independent Business.
“I think it’s necessitated retailers of all sizes to get a little more aggressive this year,” he said.
Jackson said retailers started their holiday promotions early to compensate, and more small businesses are using social media to reach customers.
The shoppers they are fighting to attract have become more cost conscious.
Georgia State University economist Rajeev Dhawan says since the recession, consumers expect more when they shop.
“We’ve become very cautious about spending. We will buy something when it’s on a deal, whether it’s a house or a car or a washing machine. But we may not just go out and buy for the sake of buying like we used to do in the old days,” Dhawan said.
As a result, Dhawan said retailers have to offer more discounts to bring in customers.
One example of that effort is Small Business Saturday. This weekend, small business owners across the state will offer special discounts, coupons and community events to attract shoppers.
Jackson said by supporting small businesses, you are helping your community.
“Small and independent business owners are among the most generous supporters of civic groups, local charities, youth sports, schools and virtually every other form of community activity," Jackson said.
But you don’t have to wait for this weekend. Many stores have decided to open on Thanksgiving Day this year, including national chains like Macy’s, Target and Walmart.