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.

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.