Author: STEVEN HERBERT
LOS ANGELES — Thousands of people are expected to head to malls and stores in Southern California on Nov. 25 for Black Friday amid an increased effort by the California Highway Patrol to combat organized retail theft.
The California Highway Patrol Organized Retail Crime Task Force is increasing its presence at shopping centers across the state, working with local law enforcement to make arrests and increase visibility.
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 331 by Rep. Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer Sr., D-Los Angeles, on July 21 to expand and expand the task force. Its regional teams work with local law enforcement and retailers to proactively address organized retail theft.
Since the task force’s inception, the CHP has been involved in 1,296 investigations, the arrest of 645 suspects and the recovery of 271,697 items of stolen retail merchandise worth nearly $26 million, Newsom said.
“Californians deserve to feel safe — especially as they head to the stores this holiday season,” Newsom said. “We have redoubled our crime-fighting efforts with millions of dollars to deter, arrest and successfully prosecute criminals involved in organized retail theft.
“This year, malls across California will see saturated patrols as CHP regional teams work with local law enforcement to help make arrests and recover stolen goods.”
According to the annual survey released Nov. 17 by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics, an estimated 166.3 million people plan to shop between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, up nearly 8 million people from last year and the highest estimate since the federation started tracking the data in 2017.
“While there is much speculation about the impact of inflation on consumer behavior, our data tells us that this Thanksgiving holiday weekend will see strong store traffic with a record number of shoppers taking advantage of the bargains,” said Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the company . National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail association.
“We are optimistic that retail sales will remain strong in the coming weeks and retailers are ready to meet consumers however they want to shop with great products at prices they want to pay.”
According to the survey, 69% of holiday shoppers plan to shop over Thanksgiving weekend. The top reasons consumers plan to shop are because the deals are too good to pass up (59%), tradition (27%) or because there’s something to do (22%) during the holidays.
Black Friday continues to be the most popular day to shop, with 69% (114.9 million) planning to shop, followed by 38% (63.9 million) on Cyber Monday. Among the 114.9 million Black Friday shoppers, 67% said they expected to head to stores, up from 64% in 2021.
Similar to 2020 and 2021, 60% of holiday shoppers said they started browsing and shopping for the season in early November. This consumer trend of earlier purchases has been accelerated by the pandemic. In 2019, 56% of holiday shoppers started shopping at this time.
“While consumers continue to save most of their holiday shopping for later in November and December, some of that spending has moved into October,” said Phil Rist, executive vice president of strategy at consumer intent data firm Prosper.
“This year, 18% of holiday shoppers have completed at least half of their holiday shopping. While this is on par with last year, it was only 11% ten years ago.
The survey found that clothing continues to top the list of what people plan to buy during their Christmas shopping at 55%, followed by gift cards (45%), toys (37%), books/music/movies/video games ( 33%). and food/candy (31%).
Lego was again the most popular toy boys planned to buy, followed by Hot Wheels, up one place from last year, and cars and trucks down one place. PlayStation and video games were again fourth and fifth. Pokemon was sixth, up four places from 2021.
Nerf products were seventh, down one place, electric and remote control cars eighth, dinosaur-related gifts ninth and Xbox 10 gaming systems, down one place.
The top four on the girls’ list were the same as a year ago — Barbie dolls, any doll, LOL Surprise! dolls and legos. Makeup and Squishmallows plush toys were fifth and sixth after not being in last year’s top 10. American Girl dolls and clothing came in seventh.
Disney-related subjects were ninth and baby dolls tenth.
The survey of 7,719 adult consumers was conducted Nov. 1-8 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.1 percentage points.
Last Chance for Animals will hold its 36th annual Fur Free Black Friday protest in Beverly Hills to raise awareness and educate retailers and shoppers about the horrors of the fur trade. The protest will also include a celebration of California’s ban on the sale of fur products, which will take effect on January 1.
Black Friday is also the 31st annual “Buy Nothing Day,” billed as “a 24-hour moratorium on consumer spending” to “take your mind off the compulsion to buy, an addiction that wreaks more havoc than ever on our physical and mental health.” environment,” according to Adbusters, which conceived the day.
Proposed “Buy Nothing Day” activities include setting up a table with scissors in a mall to offer passers-by the chance to cut up their credit cards, and organizing a group to push “empty shopping carts” for long, inexplicable stretches. Conga line without ever buying anything.”
Adbusters describes itself as “a global network of activists, writers, artists, designers, hackers, tricksters, poets, philosophers and punks”.