Black Friday retailers looking to extend moment of optimism

THE NATIONAL RETAIL FEDERATION projects that about 164 million consumers - 69 percent of Americans - will shop at stores or online over the long weekend that started on Thanksgiving. / BLOOMBERG
THE NATIONAL RETAIL FEDERATION projects that about 164 million consumers - 69 percent of Americans - will shop at stores or online over the long weekend that started on Thanksgiving. Experts expect a majority of holiday shopping will take place at brick and mortar stores. / BLOOMBERG
NEW YORK - As Black Friday shoppers descend on stores this weekend, retailers are experiencing something that’s been in short supply: optimism. Brick-and-mortar chains are coming off a generally positive earnings season, with companies such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. seeing their shares reach record highs. Even the beleaguered department-store industry is finding reasons for hope.…
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