BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Retail Outlook for New Jersey

Thanksgiving weekend marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season and a critical period in the retail cycle. NJToday’s Mike Schneider sat down with John Holub, President of the New Jersey Retail Merchants Association (NJRMA), to discuss holiday retail sales and the economic outlook for New Jersey businesses.

Regarding hiring trends, Holub observes that more seasonal workers have been hired this year as compared to last year. Asked about upcoming legislative bills, Holub supports the proposed restriction to ban sales of products containing Dextromethorphan or DM, which is found in many cough suppressants, to anyone under 18 years of age. He also described the changing retail landscape, noting in particular the decline of bookstores and video stores due to technology.

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Retailers are under increasing pressure to open early on Black Friday, some as early as midnight. Yet Bergen County continues to stay blue, refusing to open on Sundays. Paramus takes the county’s blue laws even further by restricting Black Friday opening hours. Business hours in Paramus remain firmly from 7am to 11pm. Holub says that an NJRMA study projected that refusing to open on Sundays is costing $1.1 billion in net new sales for retailers and $65 million in new revenue for the state.

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