Black Friday is on its way, the official kickoff to the holiday shopping season. Normally. But 2020 hasn’t been a normal year by any stretch of the imagination, and many holiday shoppers started buying earlier this year. So will the Black Friday to Christmas Eve stretch be boom or bust?

U.S. retail sales inched up just 0.3% in October, according to seasonally adjusted data from the Commerce Department, marking the smallest increase since the pandemic recovery began in May. However, sales were still 5.7% higher than the prior-year period, and the numbers indicate it will be a reasonable holiday for retail, Neil Saunders, GlobalData managing director, retail, told RIS, though he tempered this by noting there are early signs consumers are losing momentum.

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