Resources for Teachers and Students

Common Core State Standard
SL.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: An essay of a current news event is provided for discussion to encourage participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the article. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event within the news, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.


A starting whistle blows this week for holiday shopping online and in stores

Read another business-related article and share an interesting fact or quote.
Pick a holiday feature and describe the feelings or memories it stirs.
Can you spot a gift or product category you'd like? Tell why.

Retailers hope shoppers are geeked for the year's biggest shopping weekend. Thursday's holiday is like a ready, set, shop whistle for the gift-buying sprint to December holidays. First comes Black Friday, which starts Thanksgiving evening at Walmart, Target and Best Buy and earlier that afternoon at JC Penney. Others, including Costco and Sam's Club, let employees enjoy the holiday before doors reopen early Friday. Next is Small Business Saturday, when neighborhood shops and other independent sellers offer deals to compete with malls. The third day of big sales, called Cyber Monday, features Nov. 27 online specials. Electronics and video games are among items on sale.

Although bargain hunters will hit malls after turkey dinner, Thanksgiving store openings don't seem too popular. A survey of more than 500 Americans in late September shows that 57 percent dislike the practice.

Regardless of when sales are launched, the real battle this holiday season – and all year – is between stores we can walk into and those whose sites we click onto. The convenience of e-commerce hurts traditional retailers, with some large bankruptcies this year and old school brands like Sears closing many locations. "It has been a lousy year for nearly every U.S. retailer not named," The Wall Street Journal newspaper noted recently. (A short video below shows an Amazon shipping center.) At Flagstaff Mall in that Arizona city, General Manager Hillary Goitia says: "This [Friday] is our bread and butter. This is what we prepare for all year. It's exciting, it's fun, it's the best day of the year." There are 32 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, a relatively long stretch. And Christmas is on a Monday this year, giving tardy consumers an extra weekend to get all the names on their lists crossed off. Others are shopping for Hanukkah or Kwanzaa.

Mall executive says: "We get that not everyone thinks of Thanksgiving as a day to shop, but we're going to be here for those that do. Last year we were open from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m., and the building was packed." -- Ed Jaroszewicz, marketing director at South Park Mall in Cleveland

Industry observer says: "We're seeing more and more retailers offering their actual Black Friday deals early. Best Buy, for instance, hosted early deals when its ad leaked on Nov. 8. . . . Retailers are trying to get consumers to shop all month long, as opposed to only on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday." -- Courtney Jespersen of NerdWallet, a personal finance website

Professor says: "Offline shopping remains quite popular. Shopping is an experience, and typically people enjoy the process of shopping – walking in the store and touching and trying on the thing you want to buy. And, the minute you buy it, it is immediately yours. You don't have to wait for it." -- Rami Zwick, University of California-Riverside marketing professor

Front Page Talking Points is written by Alan Stamm for, Copyright 2018
We welcome comments or suggestions for future topics: Click here to Comment

Front Page Talking Points Archive

Democracy in action: Voters change the political balance in Congress for two years

Nationwide decision day: Congressional, state and local elections are Tuesday

Tense week ends with arrest of suspect accused of mailing explosives to Obama, CNN, others

Saudi Arabia’s role in journalist’s death at its diplomatic site provokes global attention

'Final call:' UN climate study delivers a stark, urgent warning for world leaders

New review of global research links violent video games to misbehavior potential

Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to Supreme Court turns into an extended drama

The U.S. Space Force could be a sixth military branch – if this bold idea gains altitude

A book by Bob Woodward and an insider’s anonymous essay give behind-scenes White House views

Senate hearing on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh shows Washington's sharp political split

Complete archive