November 30, 2017 2:11 PM

Director of Millikin MBA Program discusses online shopping, retail industry

Thanksgiving has traditionally been the kickoff to the holiday shopping season as families gear up to purchase Christmas gifts. In recent years, there has been an increase in themed shopping days following Black Friday, such as Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.

In a recent article from the Herald & Review, Dr. Anthony Liberatore, associate professor and director of the MBA Program at Millikin University, offered his thoughts on retail industry trends, and how online shopping will impact local Decatur, Ill., businesses this holiday season.

Anthony Liberatore

"The history of retail has included a number of trends, from shopping malls to businesses like Walmart keeping prices low by cutting out the middleman in transportation and distribution," Dr. Liberatore said. "Online shopping is the natural economic progression for the retail industry."

According to a survey by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics, an estimated 164 million people shopped over Thanksgiving weekend. Consumers say they will spend an average $967.13 this year, the federation said.

"The good news for those local, specialized boutique or furniture stores is that they can benefit from having a built-in client base," Dr. Liberatore said. "Those stores also often sell items that may not be as convenient to purchase online, so customers will keep coming to the physical store."

Click here to read the full article.