From the largest retailer to consumers, many of whom have been in a major funk due to the recession, there's a lot riding on this Black Friday.

Retailers have been encouraged coming into this big shopping weekend by some recent economic reports that hint that consumers may finally be coming out of their long hibernation. One scene that shows consumers may have gotten their mojo back was the string of tents that early bird shoppers had erected outside a store in Arkansas. Throughout the nation, it appeared consumers were once again eager to pounce on those bargains once the doors opened early this morning.

More of the larger stores decided to kick off their Black Friday specials on Thanksgiving Day. For the first time in more than a century, Sears opened on Thanksgiving to give shoppers the chance to grab those special a day earlier.

Big companies rely heavily from profit earnings in the final quarter. It's reported that Sears and Best Buy make better than 50 percent of their earnings in the last three months of the year, while Big Lots does a whopping 70 percent.

A trickle down effect of the consumer spending is the boost it gives to employment. Although much of the hiring is seasonal work for the holidays, the more shoppers open their wallets, the more stores need to bulk up their employment force to handle the workload. Even online shopping sites require more workers to package their products for shipment and delivery.

Hopefully, the small market retailer will also be able to reap from the bountiful harvest of shoppers as we head into the Christmas season. Pumping money into the local economies is a win-win for everybody. Shoppers don't have to burn extra fuel to shop and retailers can improve the local job market as their bottom line revenue numbers improve.

Hopefully, those temporary, seasonal jobs will turn into longer term employment as consumers pump more cash into the economy.

By Jim Zbick

jzbick@tnonline.com [1]