WBEZ | black friday http://www.wbez.org/tags/black-friday Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Walmart protesters press for better pay http://www.wbez.org/news/walmart-protesters-press-better-pay-109277 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/walmart_131129_nm.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicagoans joined in the thousands of planned national protests against Walmart on Black Friday to demand higher wages from the big-box retail chain.</p><p>Dozens of protesters rallied outside of the Walmart on North Broadway in the Lakeview neighborhood. Some stood in the middle of the street, locked in arms, blocking traffic.</p><p>Myron Byrd said he&rsquo;s a full time associate at the store and earns $16,000 a year. He said after expenses, he&rsquo;s left with $20 in his pocket.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m standing out here to make sure we&rsquo;re going to get justice, make sure we don&rsquo;t get bamboozled, and make sure we&rsquo;re going to have a living wage before it&rsquo;s all over with,&rdquo; Byrd said.</p><p><a href="http://forrespect.org/">OUR Walmart</a> is the group behind the Black Friday protests that&rsquo;ve been taking place from coast to coast. Organizers are looking for a minimum $25,000 yearly salary for employees. The federal poverty level for a family of four in the U.S. is $23,550.</p><p>Activists have long criticized the nation&rsquo;s largest retailers for low wages and labor practices. Recently, a Cleveland Walmart came under fire for holding a <a href="http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2013/11/is_walmarts_request_of_associa.html">holiday food drive for its employees. </a>And Walmart&rsquo;s CEO Bill Simon has said more than half its hourly employees <a href="http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-10-23/more-than-half-of-walmarts-hourly-workers-make-less-than-25-000">make less than $25,000 annually</a>.</p><p>Walmart spokeswoman Brooke Buchanan said only a few store associates are participating in the Black Friday nationwide protests, and that the average hourly wage is $12.81.</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re proud of the unparalleled opportunities we can provide associates at Walmart,&rdquo; Buchanan said.&nbsp;</p><p>Richard Wilson, a part-time associate at the North Broadway store, said it&rsquo;s important for employees to stand together.</p><p>&ldquo;My co-workers are making a courageous stand right in the middle of the street&hellip;and also to end illegal retaliation Walmart uses against it workers and and well as respect on the job, dignity,&rdquo; Wilson said.</p><p>Earlier this month the National Labor Relations Board investigated charges alleging that Walmart violated the rights of its employees as a result of employee protests. The Office of the General Counsel found Walmart stores unlawfully threatened or terminated employees if they engaged in strikes and protests.</p><p>The NLRB also said Walmart stores in Illinois and Texas &ldquo;did not interfere with their employees&rsquo; right to strike&rdquo; by telling large groups of non-employee protesters to move from Walmart&rsquo;s property to public property.</p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/nmoore-0" rel="author">Natalie Moore</a> is a WBEZ reporter. You can follow her on <a href="https://twitter.com/natalieymoore"> Twitter </a> <a href="mailto:nmoore@wbez.org">nmoore@wbez.org</a></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Follow Natalie on <a href="https://plus.google.com//104033432051539426343" rel="me">Google+</a>, &nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/natalieymoore">Twitter</a></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 29 Nov 2013 12:20:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/walmart-protesters-press-better-pay-109277 Morning Shift: Tracking real time Black Friday behavior http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-11-29/morning-shift-tracking-real-time-black-friday <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/by jpellgen.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The biggest shopping day of the year kicks off the Holiday season and Morning Shift is taking a real-time look at the decisions consumers are making. We also hear about Chicago artists that will be featured in the prestigious Whitney Biennial.&nbsp;</p><div class="storify"><iframe src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-49/embed?header=false" width="100%" height=750 frameborder=no allowtransparency=true></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-49.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-49" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Tracking real time Black Friday behavior" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Fri, 29 Nov 2013 08:37:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-11-29/morning-shift-tracking-real-time-black-friday Labor groups, employees protest during Black Friday at Chicago Wal-Mart stores http://www.wbez.org/news/labor-groups-employees-protest-during-black-friday-chicago-wal-mart-stores-103982 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/walmart_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Hundreds of protesters gathered outside Chicago area Wal-Marts today as holiday shoppers crowded the stores for Black Friday sales.</p><p>A group of Wal-Mart employees called the Organization United for Respect at Wal-Mart (OUR Walmart) transported protesters around the city in buses. Protesters want the nation&rsquo;s largest retailer to offer more dependable schedules, better health care and higher wages to employees.</p><p>Both sides have <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/17/walmart-union-idUSL1E8MGBV920121117" target="_blank">filed complaints</a> with the National Labor Relations Board as part of an their ongoing dispute.</p><p>Park Forest resident and Wal-Mart employee Marie Kanger-Born said she hopes the Black Friday protests will give the movement momentum.</p><p>&quot;The rest of the country has started to take notice of the plight of the Wal-Mart workers,&quot; Kanger-Born said. &quot;This is America. Everyone should be able to work one job and make a decent livable wage.&quot;</p><p>Chicago resident and Sam&#39;s Club employee Rosetta Brown said she has protested how Wal-Mart treats workers like her for more than a decade.</p><p>&quot;We&rsquo;re just tired of taking it and we need to be heard,&quot; Brown said. &quot;I mean, a person should be able to exercise their right to vote if they want a union. The workers are speaking out saying we need help and we&rsquo;re coming together. What&rsquo;s wrong with that? Wal-Mart should be listening and having a meeting with all of us.&quot;</p><p>Wal-Mart spokesman Kory Lundberg didn&#39;t address the protesters concerns directly but said Friday morning that the protests were not getting in the way of holiday shoppers. The company was on track to have its best-selling Black Friday event ever.</p><p>&quot;Last night during our Black Friday events we had only 26 protests occurred at stores (nationwide) and many of them did not include any Wal-Mart associates,&quot; Lundberg said.</p><p>He said Wal-Mart estimated that fewer than 50 associates participated in protests nationwide on Friday night.</p><p>&quot;In fact this year, roughly the same number of associates missed their scheduled shift as last year,&quot; Lundberg said.</p></p> Fri, 23 Nov 2012 09:03:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/labor-groups-employees-protest-during-black-friday-chicago-wal-mart-stores-103982 Early Cyber Monday estimates show sales are up http://www.wbez.org/story/early-cyber-monday-estimates-show-sales-are-94406 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-November/2011-11-28/AP101129117277.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>IBM Benchmark is reporting Cyber Monday sales are up Monday afternoon by 20 percent compared to a year ago. Department store online sales have gone up 39 percent compared to last Cyber Monday.</p><p>Andrew Lipsman is the vice president of marketing at the online research firm ComScore.</p><p>"We've seen particular strength on Black Friday obviously in brick and morter locations but in online, we saw it grow from 26 percent to 816 million, that's the heaviest total in history we have seen on Black Friday. But we are also expecting&nbsp; to see a banner cyber Monday of about 1.2 billion in spending," Lipsman said.</p><p>The National Retail Federation reported a record of 226 million shoppers have hit the stores and websites since Thanksgiving. That number is up from 212 million last year.</p></p> Mon, 28 Nov 2011 22:28:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/early-cyber-monday-estimates-show-sales-are-94406 Black Friday on the Mag Mile http://www.wbez.org/story/black-friday-mag-mile-94366 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-November/2011-11-25/shopping on michigan.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago's Magnificent Mile shopping strip is teeming with Black Friday shoppers Friday. But if Chicagoans were shopping downtown, they were certainly hard to find.</p><p>The majority of people polled were from not just out of state, but from overseas - here to take advantage of a recession and good deals. Ben Schamisso from Belgium said he's impressed by the folks camping out in front of shops late last night.</p><p>"We have people being crazy over shopping in Europe too, but I do think people are a little crazier here," Schamisso said.</p><p>Shoppers may have been lining up at the wee hours of the morning, but everyone we talked to said they're only buying what they can afford this year and paying for it immediately, like Alison Stambaugh.</p><p>"I'm not doing the credit thing this year. I'm not gonna get in the hole again," Stambaugh said.<br> <br> For Anne-Marie Poltorak, the economy has provided a new perspective on the Black Friday craze.<br> <br> "As we're getting older and our kids are getting older, it's more of an experience of family and not so much things. We don't exchange as much," Poltorak said.</p><p>It's estimated 152,000,000 people will be holiday shopping around the country into the weekend.<br> <br> &nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 25 Nov 2011 23:21:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/black-friday-mag-mile-94366 Economists predict big turnout for Black Friday sales http://www.wbez.org/story/economists-predict-big-turnout-black-friday-sales-94347 <p><p>Retailers opened their doors early this morning to Black Friday shoppers, and some economists say after a year of economic turbulence, this might be the busiest one in years.</p><p>"The timing just couldn't be worse," said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial in Chicago</p><p>Swonk said after a year of record gas prices, stagnant wages, high unemployment and volatile stock market swings, consumer confidence has plummeted. As a result, she said people are planning to spend less on Christmas gifts this year.</p><p>Meanwhile, Mara Devitt, who's with a Chicago-based retail consulting firm, said shoppers looking for the best deals on popular items could make this Black Friday one of the busiest in recent years.</p><p>"Because of all of the economic pressures plus the way the retailers have made it more accessible it's going to make for a much more exciting and busier black friday this year," said Devitt.</p><p>Both Devitt and Swonk said retailers are anticipating improvements on sales from last year, but they credit that to shoppers buying necessities for themselves rather than gifts for others.</p></p> Fri, 25 Nov 2011 11:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/economists-predict-big-turnout-black-friday-sales-94347 The Paper Machete Radio Magazine: Shannon Cason on the phenomenon of Black Thursday http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-11-23/paper-machete-radio-magazine-shannon-cason-phenomenon-black-thursda <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-November/2011-11-23/Shannon Cason at Ricochets June 11 2011 Evan Hanover.jpeg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-23/Shannon Cason at Ricochets June 11 2011 Evan Hanover.jpeg" style="width: 500px; height: 332px;" title="Cason at his last 'Machete' appearance (Photo by Evan Hanover)"></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Shannon Cason is a real live Macy's employee (he sells women's shoes).</p><p>So the Former Moth GrandSLAM champion is more than equipped to give you his thoughts on Black Friday's move to Thursday, in his Paper Machete Consumer Reports Report.</p><p>Below, the beginning of his diatribe. And as usual, if you can hear us, this magazine is LIVE.</p><p><em>In recent years, Black Friday has started earlier and earlier as retailers try to get a jump on the holiday shopping season and appeal to consumer demand. Last year, for instance, Macy's opened its doors at 4 a.m.</em></p><p><em>This year,&nbsp; however, retailers will mimic the international dateline and begin the day in relation to the rotation of the earth; from 12 am to 12 am, a true Black Friday.</em></p><p><em>Sales are brightening; October retail sales rose .3 percent, and holiday retail spending is expected to grow 2.3 percent, according to the National Retail Federation. NFR also forecasts a 27 percent increase in Black Friday shoppers.</em></p><p><em>To account for this increase, Target has announced that it will open its doors at midnight this year, following surveys that showed customer demand for this.</em></p><p><em>Popular stores like Macy's, Best Buy and Kohl's blame Target for moving up its opening time and forcing them to respond to keep up. As a result, all three retails plan to open their doors at midnight as well.&nbsp; But the midnight opening doesn't come without backlash....</em></p><p><audio class="mejs mediaelement-formatter-identified-1332483829-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/sites/default/files/2011-11-19-papermachete-shannon-cason.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></p><div><p>This Saturday's <em>Paper Machete</em> kicks off at the Horseshoe at 3 p.m., where you can expect to see Phillip Dawkins, the playwright responsible for <em>The Homosexuals</em>;&nbsp;Micah Philbrook of The Tim and Micah Project;&nbsp;Katie Rich of Second City; magician Dennis Watkins of the House Theatre; and a special performance by Barrel of Monkeys. Music from the Machete house band, Sleepy Lou.</p><p><em><a href="http://thepapermacheteshow.com/" target="_blank">The Paper Machete</a></em>&nbsp;is a weekly live magazine at the Horseshoe in North Center. It's always at 3 pm, it's always on Saturday, and it's always free. Get all your&nbsp;<em>The Paper Machete Radio Magazine</em>&nbsp;needs filled&nbsp;<a href="http://wbez.org/thepapermachete">here</a>, or download the podcast from iTunes&nbsp;<a href="http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/the-paper-machete-radio-magazine/id450280345" target="_blank">here</a>.</p></div></p> Wed, 23 Nov 2011 14:27:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-11-23/paper-machete-radio-magazine-shannon-cason-phenomenon-black-thursda Carol Moseley Braun tours 87th Street on Black Friday http://www.wbez.org/story/news/economy/carol-moseley-braun-tours-87th-street-black-friday <p><p><span style="font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;">Chicago mayoral candidate Carol Moseley Braun is spending Black Friday touring a commercial corridor on 87<sup>th</sup> Street.</span>&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;">November 27<sup>th</sup> is nationally dubbed Small Business Saturday.&nbsp; Organizers said it&rsquo;s a way to support local commerce as the holiday shopping season commences.&nbsp; </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;">Essential Elements on east 87<sup>th</sup> Street is a clothing store that&rsquo;s participating. It&rsquo;s also one of the merchants Moseley Braun visited near Stony Island. </span></p> <div><span style="font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;">&quot;The businesses in the neighborhoods need as much attention and help as downtown. And while it&rsquo;s great to shop &ndash; we&rsquo;ve got great shopping in the Loop and down North Michigan. At the same time there&rsquo;s some great stores in the neighborhoods as well,&quot; Moseley Braun said.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;">She said the city should leverage the private sector to invest in small, neighborhood businesses.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div></p> Fri, 26 Nov 2010 20:58:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/news/economy/carol-moseley-braun-tours-87th-street-black-friday Is the term 'Black Friday' outdated? http://www.wbez.org/story/black-friday/term-black-friday-outdated <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/IMG_6226.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Some economists expect retailers to be pleased with the amount of shoppers out Friday. That's after a few disappointing Black Fridays in recent years.</p><p>Diane Swonk thinks the term Black Friday is outdated. &quot;I think it should be crowned Red Tag Friday,&quot;&nbsp;she said. Swonk is chief economist at Mesirow Financial in Chicago. She said Black Friday is now more of a season as opposed to just one day. She expects long lines Friday and retail sales to be the best they've been in four years. But, &quot;When you've lowered the bar so low, it's easy to clear the hurdle,&quot;&nbsp;she said.</p><p>Swonk says sales of high end items, like jewelry, dipped during the recession but those are expected to rebound nicely this year.</p><p>Meantime, the Chicago Police Department is stepping up patrols downtown Friday. Officers are trying to crack down on pickpocketing around the city's major shopping areas on Michigan Avenue and State Street. Police Commander Ken Angarone said subways and stores with a high amount of foot traffic are prime targets for pickpocketers.</p><p>&quot;Any time you have crowds, that's an opportunity for increased criminal activity. Where a criminal feels that he can become anonymous in a crowd, that's a prime opportunity.&quot;</p><p>Angarone said shoppers should keep their purses in front of them when walking in crowded areas.</p></p> Fri, 26 Nov 2010 06:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/black-friday/term-black-friday-outdated Sears, other stores hope for shoppers on Thanksgiving Day http://www.wbez.org/story/black-friday/sears-other-stores-hope-shoppers-thanksgiving-day <p><p>This year, some retailers are hoping for a Black Thursday in addition to a Black Friday.</p><p>The economic slump is pushing some retailers to encroach on a once sacrosanct holiday. For the first time, Sears will open Thanksgiving morning. Sears spokeswoman Natalie Norris-Howser says this is a response to what customers want.<br /><br />``Every opportunity they can take to check that one more thing off of their list, they&rsquo;re willing to do,&rsquo;&rsquo; Norris-Howser said.<br /><br />But not everyone thinks it will yield much of a payoff.&nbsp; Morningstar analyst Paul Swinand says it&rsquo;s a gamble that he usually sees from retailers that are struggling.<br /><br />``You might have just captured somebody you would have captured later in December anyway, so now you&rsquo;ve spent more money to capture the same amount of sales in aggregate over the holiday period,&rsquo;&rsquo; Swinand said.<br /><br />Many Old Navy stores will open on Thanksgiving, but most retailers are waiting till Black Friday. Carson Pirie Scott hopes people will take a little catnap after digesting pumpkin pie and head out to shop at 3:00 am on Friday.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 24 Nov 2010 06:01:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/black-friday/sears-other-stores-hope-shoppers-thanksgiving-day