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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.


In-store sales inch up as Internet sales surge

Survey your classmates: How many of their families are shopping online? Will their families spend more or less this holiday season?
Check your newspaper for stories about Black Friday, Cyber Monday and holiday sales. How big were the crowds? Are retailers worried or confident about holiday sales?
Check your newspaper and its Web site for holiday ads. Are retailers still offering big discounts or are prices back to normal?

All the big promotions on the day after Thanksgiving resulted in a sales increase of just 0.5 percent to $10.66 billion, according to ShopperTrak, which measures customer traffic in stores.

But, Internet spending jumped 35 percent on Black Friday, according to Coremetrics, which measures online retail sales. Many online retailers aimed their big promotions for Cyber Monday, when many Internet users return to their desks and start shopping online.

The National Retail Federation's Shop.org unit commissioned a survey by market-research firm BIGResearch, which found that 87 percent of retailers planned Cyber Monday promotions, including free shipping and one-day sales.

The survey also found that 54 percent of employees plan to do some holiday shopping from their work computers, particularly men (56 percent compared with 51 percent of women) and 18- to 24-year-olds (74 percent).

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are important to retailers because they can set the tone for the entire holiday shopping season. Holiday sales are vital, accounting for up to 40 percent of some retailers' annual sales.

Last year's holiday season marked the worst performance in nearly 40 years, and most shoppers say they'll spend about the same or less this year than they did last year.

Shopper says: "I'm on a single mom's budget so I'm here for the 50 percent off items . . . none of us are willing to get nasty. I'll find it on eBay or Craig's list." - Lisa Crutchfield, shopping Black Friday at a Toys R Us in Charlotte, N.C.

Pollster says: "Employees who spend 10 minutes at the office completing their holiday shopping online are likely to be much more efficient than those who use extended lunch breaks waiting in line at the store and fighting holiday traffic on the way back to work." - Phil Rist of BIGResearch.

Retailer says: "I don't think there's a lot of impulse shopping going on. People are just being realistic about their personal situation and the economy." - James Fielding, president of Walt Disney Co.'s Disney Stores.

Front Page Talking Points is written by Alan Stamm for NIEonline.com, Copyright 2015
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