NEW YORK (AP) - Toys and TVs at J.C. Penney, Barbies at Best Buy, kitchen appliances like wine refrigerators at B.J.'s. As the holiday shopping season officially kicks off Thursday, shoppers may find some surprises at their favorite stores.
Even as retailers are counting on a lift from a better economy, they're looking beyond economic data and mapping out ways to pick up sales from other retailers as Amazon expands its reach. That can mean opening earlier than rivals on the holidays or even jumping into new product categories.
The fight for market share comes as analysts at Bain say Amazon is expected to take half the holiday season's sales growth.
With the jobless rate at a 17-year-low of 4.1 percent and consumer confidence stronger, analysts project healthy sales increases for November and December.