Black Friday sales helped bolster the retail numbers, which went up for the sixth month in a row. Chris Franz/Getty Images
Mid-day Update

Mid-day Extra: Streamlining holiday shopping

Stacey Vanek Smith Dec 8, 2011
Black Friday sales helped bolster the retail numbers, which went up for the sixth month in a row. Chris Franz/Getty Images

Holiday shopping means great bargains on everything from big screen TVs to the hottest pair of sneakers. It means malls and stores filled with all kinds of festive decorations. But for many, many people, it also means lines.

Well, a lot of retailers this season are taking steps to streamline the dreaded checkout process.

Ray Smith wrote a piece in today’s Wall Street Journal about how stores are trying to make holiday shopping less of a pain, and we talked to him in today’s Mid-day Extra.

He gave us a few examples of the kinds of steps stores are taking to make the experience more enjoyable, and keep shoppers in the stores and not just checking out online. He also has some strategies for what you, the shopper, can do to speed up your checkout.

A hint? Be a little judgmental.

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.  

Half-priced hoodies! 😲 

This weekend only, get our new Marketplace zip up hoodie when you donate $8/month instead of $16/month. Don’t wait this offer ends at midnight Sunday!