Though online shopping has increased, it has not taken the place of in-store holiday shopping.
Over the past several years internet holiday sales have increased. Economist Kyle Anderson says there has been a shift toward online shopping, but it’s not reducing the number of Black Friday’s in-store shoppers. One of the reasons people still buy products in-store, he says, is customers realize they could end up paying more online because of shipping costs.
“A lot of times online retailers will say it’s offset by shipping,” he says. “So it’s kind of, well I don’t pay the 7 percent sales tax, but I do pay shipping costs which might be that much or more and so it all kind of washes out.”
Hoosiers do not pay online sales tax, providing an incentive to buy online. But Best Buy General Manager Joe Marcoux says he still expects his store to see eight to 10 times more business than a normal Friday.
“There’s a new Wii gaming system that launched this week on Sunday, flat panel TV’s are still great because the prices are so good,” he says. “Everything’s going to be hot. The tablet and computing category for us is the big category right now. Mobile phones are exploding with the launch of Windows 8 as well, so if it’s a tablet, if it’s a computer, if it’s a gaming system or a flat panel TV it’s going to sell well.”
And when it comes to pricing, Anderson says customers should remember that local retailers also pay for shipping, but i is already built into the shelf price.