November 26, 2007

Today's Front Pages Analysis

Holiday shopping: Big spending = big story

With the Thanksgiving holiday and its bellyful of turkey and stuffing squarely behind us, it's the time of year when one singular focus dominates in the U.S.: holiday shopping! As Link (Hampton Roads, Va.) put it, "Let the shopping season begin."

Although Black Friday was three days ago, retailers are just getting back the numbers on the first big shopping weekend of the year. Spending news was good all around. The Hattiesburg (Miss.) American's front page said, "Holiday shopping revives." The headline of the Herald Times Reporter (Manitowoc, Wis.) read, "Retailers report solid holiday shopping sales," but cautioned readers that "Shoppers need to keep buying for season to be a success."

Can't decide what to get for your loved ones? The Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Fla.) had some "Great gizmos" suggestions on the front page. If you have no ideas whatsoever, you could buy the gifts mentioned in the song "The 12 Days of Christmas." Unfortunately, they will set you back $78,100 according to The Times-Tribune of Scranton, Pa.

Not all shopping news is good news. Many think that, in spite of a strong start, financial woes will curb holiday spending this year. San Bernardino, Calif.'s The Sun asked, "On a budget?" and said, "Consumer concerns may slow season." After the numerous recalls this year, "Toy worries have parents shopping with care" according to The Greenville (S.C.) News.

These days, many of us prefer to shop on our lunch hours or in our pajamas rather than getting up in the wee hours of the morning on Black Friday. For these lazy souls, the Pocono Record (Stroudsburg, Pa.) suggested, "Cyber Monday a stay-at-home option to Black Friday burnout." Cyber Monday, which is today, is the day that online holiday sales start jumping and "E-tailers holiday season begins," according to the Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser. "Shop in Peace," suggested The Gadsden (Ala.) Times. The Erie (Pa.) Times-News called Cyber Monday shopping "Clickety-split sales." Just be careful, as Nashville's The Tennessean warned: "Online shoppers risk Web of deceit" as scams and fake ads abound on the Net.

Emily Hedges is an assistant editor at the Newseum.

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