LOS ANGELES — Thousands of people are expected to head to malls and stores in Southern California on Black Friday Nov. 25 amid increased efforts by the California Highway Patrol across the state to crack down on organized shoplifting.
The California Highway Patrol’s Retail Organized Crime Task Force is expanding its presence in malls across the state and is working with local law enforcement to make arrests and raise awareness.
Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assemblyman Reginald Byron Jones Sawyer Sr. (Reginald Byron Jones Sawyer Sr.) Bill 331 July 21 to expand and expand the task force. Its regional teams partner with local law enforcement and retailers to proactively combat organized retail theft.
Since the inception of the task force, the CHP has conducted 1,296 investigations, arrested 645 suspects, and recovered 271,697 items of stolen retail goods worth nearly $26 million, according to Newsom.
“California people deserve to feel safe – especially when they head to the shops this holiday season,” Newsom said. “We have redoubled our crime-fighting efforts by committing millions of dollars to deter, arrest and successfully prosecute criminals involved in organized retail theft.
“Malls across California will be heavily patrolled this year as regional CHP teams partner with local law enforcement to help make arrests and recover stolen goods.”
According to the annual survey, released November 17 by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics, approximately 166.3 million people plan to shop between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, up nearly 8 million from last year and the highest ever since the Federation started tracking the data in 2017.
“While there is a lot of speculation about the impact of inflation on consumer behavior, our data tells us that this Thanksgiving weekend will see robust store traffic with a record number of shoppers taking advantage of great deals,” said Matthew Shea, President and CEO National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail association.
“We are optimistic that retail sales will remain strong in the coming weeks and retailers are ready to satisfy shoppers however they want to shop with great products at prices they want to pay.”
According to the survey, 69% of holiday shoppers plan to shop over Thanksgiving weekend. The top reasons consumers plan to shop are because the deals are too good to pass up (59%), because of tradition (27%) or because there is something to do (22%) on holidays.
Black Friday is still the most popular shopping day, with 69% (114.9M) planning to shop on that day, followed by 38% (63.9M) on Cyber Monday. Among the 114.9 million shoppers who showed up on Black Friday, 67% said they planned to go shopping, up from 64% in 2021.
As in 2020 and 2021, 60% of holiday shoppers said they started browsing and buying in-season items in early November. This consumer trend towards earlier purchases has accelerated due to the pandemic. In 2019, 56% of holiday shoppers started shopping around this time.
“While consumers continue to defer most of their holiday shopping to the end of November and December, some of that spending has shifted to October,” said Phil Rist, executive vice president of strategy for Prosper, a consumer intent data firm.
“This year, 18% of holiday shoppers made at least half of their holiday shopping. Although this is at the level of last year, it is more than just 11% ten years ago.”
The survey showed that clothing still tops the list of what people plan to buy during Christmas shopping (55%), followed by gift cards (45%), toys (37%), books/music/movies/video games (33 %). and food/candy (31%).
Lego was once again the top buyer of toys planned for boys, followed by Hot Wheels, up one spot from last year, and cars and trucks, down one spot. PlayStation and video games again finished in fourth and fifth place. The Pokémon was sixth, moving up four spots from 2021.
Nerf products ranked seventh, down one spot, electric and remote-controlled vehicles down eighth, dinosaur-related gifts down ninth, and Xbox gaming systems down 10th, down one spot.
The top four in the list of girls were the same as a year ago – Barbie dolls, any doll, LOL Surprise! dolls and legos. Plush toys Makeup and Squishmallows came in at number five and six after failing to make the top ten last year. American Girl dolls and clothes are tied for seventh place.
Disney-related items ranked ninth, while baby dolls ranked 10th.
The survey of 7,719 adult consumers was conducted November 1-8 and has an error of plus or minus 1.1 percentage points.
Last Chance for Animals will host the 36th annual Fur Free Black Friday event in Beverly Hills in an effort to raise awareness among retailers and shoppers of the horrors of the fur trade. The protest will also include a celebration of California’s fur ban, which goes into effect January 1.
Black Friday is also the 31st annual “Shopping Free Day” declared a “24-hour moratorium on consumer spending” to “save your mind from compulsion to shop, an addiction that wreaks more havoc than ever on our natural and mental abilities. environments,” according to Adbusters, who conceived the day.
Proposed “Shopping Day” activities include setting up a scissor table at the mall to offer passers-by the opportunity to cut their credit cards, and organizing a group to push “empty shopping carts in a long, inexplicable conga without buying anything.”
Adbusters describes itself as “a global network of activists, writers, artists, designers, hackers, swindlers, poets, philosophers and punks”.