NEW YORK -- Retailers awaiting the arrival of Black Friday are on the edge.
How well they do during the biggest shopping season of the year will have lasting consequences not just on them, but the still-fragile economic recovery.
This weekend, many stores will for the first time use midnight openings along with the usual bevy of deals as they try to lure consumers, whose appetite for good-buys has been increasing since the Great Recession.
Economists and business executives will be watching closely.
As usual, success will depend largely on consumer spending. It accounts for about 70 percent of U.S. economic activity. Their spending can impact stores' expansion plans and inventory decisions into the new year.
And that trickles through the rest of the economy, from suppliers to jobs.