BLACK FRIDAY: Since the economy soured, stores have been doing more than ever to get consumers to start their holiday shopping early, offering loss leaders like discounted televisions in hope of attracting shoppers on the day after Thanksgiving, or even on the holiday itself.
This year, a number of retailers will be open on Thanksgiving Day, including K-Mart and Old Navy. By heading out as early as Thursday night, retailers say, shoppers can get a jump on the crowds and head home with the best deals.
But Black Friday - so-called because it's the day that retailers hope to bring in enough business to put their stores in the black financially for the year - may be better for retailers' budgets than for consumers' wallets.
Retail expert Grant Cardone told NBC LA's Robert Kovacik that consumers need to watch out for impulsive Black Friday purchases that could lead them to overspend - on products they may not need in the first place.
Before even going out, Cardone said, shoppers should decide what they really need. Next they should make a budget. And even then, Cardone said, rather than going out on Black Friday, consumers should call around to retailers and try to cut a deal.
"Black Friday is for amateur shoppers," Cardone said.
LETTUCE RECALL: Irwindale-based Ready Pac Foods is recalling 5,379 bags of salad containing Romaine lettuce because of potential contamination with the E. coli bacteria. The lettuce, sold at Trader Joe’s and other stores, had a “use-by” date of Nov. 18. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in a news release that the affected lettuce includes bags sold at Trader Joe’s, Safeway and other stores.
RAW MILK RECALL: In a move sure to reignite concerns over the safety of raw milk products, California regulators this week ordered a recall of raw dairy items from the Fresno dairy Organic Pastures.
The order affects all milk products except cheese that has been aged for a minimum of 60 days. It was issued after five children became infected with the same strain of E. coli bacteria. The children lived in Contra Costa, Kings, Sacramento and San Diego counties.
They had all drunk milk from Organic Pastures, the state said.
FORECLOSURES: The news on foreclosures was really mixed this week. On one hand, the number of people who were behind on their mortgages was down during the third quarter, according to the Mortgage Bankers Assoc.
But the number of foreclosures was actually up, the organization said. And, equally ominous, the number of people who were seriously delinquent on their properties – more than 90 days – was also up.