Holiday shopping
NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon said Wednesday it had its biggest ever Thanksgiving holiday shopping weekend, aided by a record number of consumers looking for deals online amid high inflation.
Small businesses are stocking the shelves early this holiday season and waiting to see how many gifts inflation-weary shoppers feel like giving.
Amazon said Thursday its Prime members ordered more than 100 million items during a sales event this week that analysts are expecting to be a bellwether for the holiday shopping season.
Amazon says it is holding a second Prime Day-like shopping event in October. The company is the latest major retailer to offer holiday deals earlier this year to entice cautious consumers dealing with tighter budgets.
Walmart and Target plan to begin offering deals and price matching offers earlier this year to keep up with Americans pressed by soaring inflation and looking for ways to take the sting out of holiday shopping.
Walmart is taking a cautious approach to the holiday shopping season, announcing it will hire 40,000 U.S. workers for the holidays, a majority of them seasonal workers.
Target is canceling orders from suppliers, particularly for home goods and clothing, and it’s slashing prices further to clear out amassed inventory ahead of the critical fall and holiday shopping seasons.
The U.S. economy shrank in the first three months of the year even though consumers and businesses kept spending at a solid pace, the government reported Thursday in a slight downgrade of its previous estimate for the January-March quarter.
Google’s digital advertising empire turned in another strong performance during the holiday shopping season, propelling a 36% increase in its corporate parent’s profit during the final three months of 2021.
Americans overlooked shortages, spiking prices and uncertainty over the omicron variant to break spending records during the critical holiday shopping season.
Stocks ended another wobbly day mostly higher, enough for the S&P 500 to notch another record high.

Retailers and companies reliant on consumer spending were among the better performers coming off the Christmas holiday shopping season.
U.S. consumer prices rose 5.7% over the past year, the fastest pace in 39 years as a surge in inflation battered Americans as the holiday shopping season was getting under way.
After a wearying nearly two years of the pandemic, independent retailers are cautiously hoping their holiday seasons will be bright, despite the challenges this year ranging from supply chain snags to shortages of hot holiday items.
Maybe Baker Mayfield needed to follow the lead of Kareem Jackson. The Cleveland quarterback attended an event at a Boys & Girls Club, now has tested positive for COVID-19, and the youth organization had needed to take extra precautions.
Americans slowed their spending from October to November but still continued to shop ahead of the critical holiday season, brushing off rising prices and shortages.
NEW YORK (AP) — Like many shoppers, Kathleen Webber understands the struggles of getting the right gifts for her three children this holiday shopping season amid widespread shortages.
Americans are spending freely and going back to store shopping, knocking out some of the momentum in online sales from last year when Americans were making many of their purchases exclusively via the internet.
OXNARD, Calif. (AP) — Officials are using a California naval base to help alleviate congestion at Los Angeles County ports in time for holiday shopping.
Climate activists have blockaded Amazon warehouses in three European countries. It’s part of a global effort to pressure the ecommerce giant on one of its busiest days of the year to improve working conditions and end business practices that hurt the environment.

Holiday season moves into high gear but challenges remain

NEW YORK (AP) — Shoppers buoyed by solid hiring, healthy pay gains and substantial savings are returning to stores and splurging on all types of items.
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — All 28 state parks in Kansas will be free to visit on Black Friday.

The Kansas City Star reports that entrance fees will be waived for all visitors, including guests from out of town
Groups of thieves ransacked jewelry and high-end clothing stores throughout the San Francisco Bay Area over the weekend, shocking holiday shoppers and prompting concerns about the busy retail season.
Department store chains Macy’s and Kohl’s delivered strong results for the fiscal third quarter as shoppers go back to buying dresses and other goods that fell to the bottom of the shopping list when the pandemic struck.
BOSTON (AP) — Toys with tiny accessories children can choke on, wheeled toys that could lead to falls, and toys that fire projectiles that could possibly injure a child’s eyes are among the playthings on an annual “10 Worst Toys” list released Wednesday by a consumer safety advocacy group

Defying inflation, Americans ramped up spending last month

WASHINGTON (AP) — Many Americans have taken a darker view of the economy as inflation has worsened.
Many Americans have taken a darker view of the economy as inflation has worsened. Yet so far, they appear no less willing to spend freely at retailers, an encouraging sign for the crucial holiday shopping season.
A new study shows that the personal luxury market of high-end accessories, leather goods and apparel has snapped back to pre-pandemic levels.
A worsening surge of inflation for such bedrock necessities as food, rent, autos and heating oil is setting Americans up for a financially difficult Thanksgiving and holiday shopping season.
In this world, there’s a book for everybody. Take advantage of that sentiment during the holiday shopping season. Book sales have thrived during the pandemic.
President Joe Biden has announced a deal to expand operations at the Port of Los Angeles in hopes of ending the logjam of ships waiting to unload.