Black Friday sales flat against ’08 figures

posted at 12:00 pm on November 29, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Call it a wash.  The biggest retail day of the year managed to match up against the sales figures from last year, eking out a 0.5% increase — perhaps not even enough to cover what little inflation may have occurred over the past year.  Retailers took in $10.66 billion on Friday, but the news reports leave out an important question:

Shoppers who endured long lines and sometimes-frigid temperatures spent only slightly more during their Black Friday shopping sprees than they did last year, according to data released Saturday by a research firm.

At the same time, their pajama-clad counterparts, a much smaller group that accounted for only a fraction of overall sales, shopped online from the warmth of their homes and dramatically boosted their spending. …

Preliminary sales data from Martin’s organization, a Chicago research firm that tracks sales at more than 50,000 stores, showed shoppers spent $10.66 billion when they hit the malls on the day after Thanksgiving. That’s only 0.5 percent more than last year when Black Friday sales rose a striking 3 percent.

The problem with using retail sales as a calculation is the same as using topline figures for a business to determine its health.  Sales numbers are important, but we’re missing a critical piece — the cost of the sales.  After all, anyone can sell a lot of merchandise if they’re willing to do it at a loss.

The AP mentions that retailers had to deeply discount early and often to bait shoppers:

Stores offerred deals on more practical items to woo recession-weary shoppers who more than ever might want gifts that the recipients will really appreciate.

Translation: Discounts moved from traditional low-margin seasonal gift ideas to staples, where retailers usually hope to recoup their bottom lines.  That could be very bad news; as Ashley Heher notes, last year’s 3% Black Friday increase heralded a 4.4% drop in the overall holiday shopping season, topline.  If retailers bought a 0.5% increase through deeper discounts, the margin on those sales will be thinner, and they may have pulled some future sales into Black Friday as a result.

The good news is that consumers who have jobs are willing to shop for the right deals.  Even with that, though, shoppers are less enthusiastic now than a year ago, when the economy was crashing and panic was starting to appear but retailers still got a 3% improvement on Black Friday from 2007.  One might have thought that, with all of the “All is well!” rhetoric, that shoppers may have felt more comfortable expanding their buying, but apparently not.  Even when they are willing to buy, they are not willing to shop at normal retail prices, and bargain-hunting now may mean fewer sales later.  If retailers had hoped to get healthy on Black Friday, they may find themselves in for a very disappointing Christmas.

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My sales were down 50% on black friday, as well as yesterday. Sunday has been better. Go figure.

The Calibur on November 29, 2009 at 12:05 PM

Black Friday should never be a trusted indicator of economic vitality.

vinman on November 29, 2009 at 12:06 PM

My wife left the house at 0415 and returned by 1100 with a final tally of $2300 spent. My wallet is still in intensive care, it’s touch and go.

Bishop on November 29, 2009 at 12:07 PM

Shoppers who endured long lines and sometimes-frigid temperatures spent only slightly more during their Black Friday shopping sprees than they did last year, according to data released Saturday by a research firm.

“frigid temperatures”? Gee, I thought those were going away – at least according to the Warmers.

One might have thought that, with all of the “All is well!” rhetoric, that shoppers may have felt more comfortable expanding their buying, but apparently not. 

Yes, adults in charge now.

[Obowma 'free-speech panel /sarc tag here]

Juno77 on November 29, 2009 at 12:07 PM

It was busy here starting at midnight but everyone I talked to was watching every penny. They all feel like I do ,that the other shoe is about to drop. I don`t care what the reports say companys here are really cutting back now. Work has dried up and big companys are talking furloughs. People are scared.

LSUMama on November 29, 2009 at 12:08 PM

Stores offerred deals on more practical items to woo recession-weary shoppers who more than ever might want gifts that the recipients will really appreciate.

Like food and ammunition…

Seven Percent Solution on November 29, 2009 at 12:09 PM

Disappointing, my foot! In a bearish economy, I’m getting a promotion that comes with a $300/mo. pay raise, two months after getting a $6000 incentive package to guarantee my continued employment for another 6 years. And I get a positive pay adjustment to live in Europe.

Man, I never thought I’d see the day when it would just make good dollars and cents to be in the Army.

Spc Steve on November 29, 2009 at 12:09 PM

I bought a $1.00 princess wand from Target’s dollar bins to add to the dress up clothes stash I’ve been collecting all year for my daughter’s Christmas present. I also bought beer and tums. Stimulating!

Diane on November 29, 2009 at 12:10 PM

I think people are just trying to be careful. It will be that way until they have more confidence in the economy.

Terrye on November 29, 2009 at 12:10 PM

“Let me be perfectly clear, the only way to have unprecedented Christmas sales is to pass healthcare. The American shoppers are acting stupidly.”

Knucklehead on November 29, 2009 at 12:11 PM

My wife only spent $160 on Friday (I refuse to shop on black Friday). That’s about 1/4 of last year’s purchases. No big-ticket luxury items this year…we can’t think of anything of that nature that the girls need. For that matter, neither of my kids came up with anything expensive that they want. So, we are keeping it simple and inexpensive, the way it should be in my opinion.

JohnTheBuilder on November 29, 2009 at 12:14 PM

I bought a $1.00 princess wand from Target’s dollar bins to add to the dress up clothes stash I’ve been collecting all year for my daughter’s Christmas present. I also bought beer and tums. Stimulating!

Diane on November 29, 2009 at 12:10 PM

Thank you so much! I think your shopping spree has created or saved over 500,000 jobs according to Iwon.

VegasRick on November 29, 2009 at 12:15 PM

My company warned about 4th quarter when 3rd quarter results came out.

It’s going to take a lot longer than a year to get people spending like they were if they ever get there again.

gophergirl on November 29, 2009 at 12:15 PM

But all you hear in the news is how well the economy is recovering….

Mord on November 29, 2009 at 12:16 PM

This is the first time in ten years I didn’t hear the liberal media constantly scream: “What if the Christmas rush doesn’t come this year?”

Giant red flag there.

logis on November 29, 2009 at 12:16 PM

Ed, don’t forget population growth. The US population typically increases by a little less than 1% each year. The per-capita spending is thus likely to be lower this year than last, even without accounting for inflation.

year_of_the_dingo on November 29, 2009 at 12:16 PM

where is all that Obama money so I cAn buy me a blu ray player????!

Ghoul aid on November 29, 2009 at 12:17 PM

I’ll wait til after Christmas. Bet there will be some great sales then!

Itchee Dryback on November 29, 2009 at 12:19 PM

We started a grab bag years and years ago.

1 gift $50 max limit….though many end up being home made (a small quilt, cutting board, trivets, etc).

On Christmas eve we all sit near the tree , draw numbers from a hat, and each person picks their gift, opens it, then the next person, etc.

Nobody (out of approx. 45 family members) regrets it.

aquaviva on November 29, 2009 at 12:19 PM

I’m gonna love Christmas this year!

It’s my first Christmas being single in about 5 years!

I don’t have to spend 200-500 bucks on any Christmas presents for a woman!

YEEEEEE HAWWWW

blatantblue on November 29, 2009 at 12:22 PM

The promise of awesome deals on Black Friday brings people into the stores, and to the online stores, in droves. But anymore it is simply a ruse to get people into the stores, and to the online stores, and nothing more. Black Friday has been pretty much nothing but a scam for several years now. The only good ‘deals’ to be found are on reburbished items. Used stuff that was returned because it was broken and/or didn’t work, got a cheap makeover, then got put back up for sale again.

The Black Friday “Deals” this year were practically non-existent. Most of the so-called ‘deals’ were a very paltry few units of the item announced to be a ‘deal’. Most of the ‘deals’ were no more discounted than they could be found ‘on sale’ at any other time of the year. The ‘big ticket’ items were barely discounted, or were discontinued items, and the units in stock numbered so few they were sold-out and gone in just a few minutes.

It was a very disappointing Black Friday. Cyber Monday looks to be no better.

SilverStar830 on November 29, 2009 at 12:23 PM

Fear not, Mrs. Boomer is doing all she can to prop up the retail sector.

Little Boomer on November 29, 2009 at 12:27 PM

I started shopping for my nephews in October and my parents and I decided to put all their gifts into a pot from the three of us.

I bought two gifts from Target on Friday to finish up and ended up spending $50-60 total on each of them and they are opening 5 gifts each.

Last year I would have spent $200 alone on each of them.

gophergirl on November 29, 2009 at 12:27 PM

My wife left the house at 0415 and returned by 1100 with a final tally of $2300 spent. My wallet is still in intensive care, it’s touch and go.

Bishop on November 29, 2009 at 12:07 PM

You gonna press charges?

Patrick S on November 29, 2009 at 12:27 PM

“Let me be perfectly clear, the only way to have unprecedented Christmas sales is to pass healthcare. The American shoppers are acting stupidly.”

Knucklehead on November 29, 2009 at 12:11 PM

“You lie, boy!”

Lanceman on November 29, 2009 at 12:27 PM

Other than after trampling injuries and a death last year from estupido’s on black Friday causing stores this year to hold the discount prices through the weekend so Fri. might not be the proper indicator..Its Obamas fault, businesses and shoppers are scared to death, nobody has a clue what nasty thing the Democrats will do to us.

Speakup on November 29, 2009 at 12:32 PM

I don’t celebrate consumerism during the Christmas season.

Don’t get me wrong I buy folks gifts but I’m not doing it to keep the an a$$ backwards economy afloat. 2/3 of our economy is based on us Consuming….mainly Chinese products.

Dr Evil on November 29, 2009 at 12:35 PM

It was a very disappointing Black Friday. Cyber Monday looks to be no better.

SilverStar830 on November 29, 2009 at 12:23 PM

Have you checked out the Chuckles Johnson super-duper Christmas store over at LGF? I hear his sale items are spectacular/

Knucklehead on November 29, 2009 at 12:36 PM

You gonna press charges?
Patrick S on November 29, 2009 at 12:27 PM

I locked myself in the shop, put a loaded revolver on the desk in front of me, and sipped slowly from a bottle of scotch.

Bishop on November 29, 2009 at 12:37 PM

I locked myself in the shop, put a loaded revolver on the desk in front of me, and sipped slowly from a bottle of scotch.

Bishop on November 29, 2009 at 12:37 PM

NO!

You have so much to live for!

Actually, nevermind

You don’t! Its over!

blatantblue on November 29, 2009 at 12:39 PM

heh, About 4 years ago, I decided I was going to do all my Christmas shopping online, and did. Quick, painless (except for the bill), and open 24/7 right in my bedroom.

But I kinda missed the craziness of…*cue echo* the mall.

Like a lot of people tho, I’m going back to the cyber-shoppin’. It can be cheaper, and it’s just so easy. I thnk by the time the season is done next month, online sales will see it’s biggest increase evah.

JetBoy on November 29, 2009 at 12:42 PM

Have you checked out the Chuckles Johnson super-duper Christmas store over at LGF? I hear his sale items are spectacular/

Knucklehead on November 29, 2009 at 12:36 PM

lol…he should get shirts made up that say “comment deleted” on the front, and “account blocked” on the back.

JetBoy on November 29, 2009 at 12:44 PM

Have you checked out the Chuckles Johnson super-duper Christmas store over at LGF? I hear his sale items are spectacular

Knucklehead on November 29, 2009 at 12:36 PM

I refuse to support narcissistic douche nozzle megalomaniac’s at any time of the year. Besides, visiting that website leaves me feeling icky and somewhat defiled… like I peeked at an evil troll taking an epic $hit.

SilverStar830 on November 29, 2009 at 12:44 PM

I don’t have to spend 200-500 bucks on any Christmas presents for a woman!

YEEEEEE HAWWWW

blatantblue on November 29, 2009 at 12:22 PM

No wonder you’re single this year…you gotta spend at least a grand on a chick or she won’t be happy. ;)

JetBoy on November 29, 2009 at 12:45 PM

I don’t have to spend 200-500 bucks on any Christmas presents for a woman!

YEEEEEE HAWWWW

blatantblue on November 29, 2009 at 12:22 PM

Wow, $200. Player…

simplesimon on November 29, 2009 at 12:53 PM

Two things:

One — I think shoppers are a bit more savvy after last year and are probably playing a wait and see game, looking for retailers to drop prices again in an effort to boost sales.

Two — Shouldn’t the messiah be rushing out with a stimulus check to boost our spending? That seems to be the way this lot in Washington think.

postaldog on November 29, 2009 at 12:53 PM

My husband and I actually spent more this year than we did last year. Last year, we didn’t even go shopping on Black Friday – this year, we spent around $700. What’s weird (and also good) is that last year, we had credit cards and very little money to spend, whereas this year we had no credit cards and more money to spend (thank you, Dave Ramsey). We were at Kohl’s at 4am, and that place was packed. There were not only great deals, but a coupon that let you get an additional 15% off your purchase – and there was Kohl’s cash. They pulled out all the big guns to get people in the door.

Of course, now we’re done with Christmas shopping, and so we’ll be adding very little to the economy for the rest of the season – unless my husband has yet to buy my birthday gift. If that’s the case, he’d better get on it!

Anna on November 29, 2009 at 12:53 PM

There was no need for me to set foot in any store on Black Friday. Amazon pricematched pretty much every retailer out there on a wide assortment of items. If you don’t mind waiting a week or two, you could get all sorts of stuff delivered to your door and not pay a dime in sales taxes(depending on what state you’re in).

And BTW, that’s a topic I’m sure isn’t being overlooked by the government. As e-tailers’ share of Christmas sales grows, what sort of effect will the loss of tax revenue have?

Doughboy on November 29, 2009 at 12:53 PM

Black Friday sales are R-A-C-I-S-T!!!!

How do I know the economy is in full recovery? Obama told me so.

And that my evil conservatives is THAT!

jukin on November 29, 2009 at 12:57 PM

I should add that not everything we bought on Friday was a Christmas present. Some of it was stuff we already needed or had budgeted for for a while. There is nothing like having most of your household goods in inaccessable storage – I miss my winter clothes.

Anna on November 29, 2009 at 12:58 PM

And BTW, that’s a topic I’m sure isn’t being overlooked by the government. As e-tailers’ share of Christmas sales grows, what sort of effect will the loss of tax revenue have?

Doughboy on November 29, 2009 at 12:53 PM

Funny you should ask….

Should Amazon.com charge PA sales tax?

Amazon.com is fighting efforts by New York and other states to collect sales taxes for billions of dollars in online sales, reports Michael Mazerov of the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities here.

Knucklehead on November 29, 2009 at 12:59 PM

What about the Ammo and Guns sales?

Juno77 on November 29, 2009 at 1:01 PM

My brother in law loves to shop for Black Friday deals…for himself. He was going on and on during Thanksgiving about all the sweet deals he was going to get the next day, and how he and his friend had a detailed plan of action.

The jerk has never gotten us a present. Ever. I include our wedding, birthdays, Christams, the births of our children. Never.

Did I mention he’s a flaming liberal?

When I think Black Friday,I think of him and his ilk scamming to get a good deal so they can sell it on E-bay. Merry Christmas!

Vera on November 29, 2009 at 1:01 PM

Black (or whatever) Friday, bfd. Smart shoppers avoid that day like the plague.

docdave on November 29, 2009 at 1:01 PM

American Legion magazine quotes a report from USBLS that bologna is up 27% over last year.

Tom

marinetbryant on November 29, 2009 at 1:05 PM

My brother in law loves to shop for Black Friday deals…for himself. He was going on and on during Thanksgiving about all the sweet deals he was going to get the next day, and how he and his friend had a detailed plan of action.

That must be a running theme…All Friday morning, all the different news channels (local and cable) had their “man at the mall” interviewing shoppers…and almost every shopper was there for themselves.

JetBoy on November 29, 2009 at 1:05 PM

Jetboy, it’s all the consumerism without any of the giving! The true meaning of…the holiday that shall not be named.

Vera on November 29, 2009 at 1:08 PM

I didn’t see any deals that were so spectacular I’d get up at 4am to go shop, or that I could afford. I try to wait until I see something that would be meaningful to the recipient, and to me that doesn’t include electronics and gadgets. If I can afford a gift I want it to be something they will treasure, not something that requires batteries and will be outdated in a year or so. Or something they’ll never wear. Of course, if I don’t find anything like that in time, Amazon gift certificates are always appreciqated. The grandson has a closet full of toys so he’ll be difficult to buy for.

scalleywag on November 29, 2009 at 1:10 PM

Sales in my Las Vegas stores on Black Friday?
F.
L.
A.
T.
Thanks Obama and all you f**kin democrats. People really are scared, terrified really, about what else you socialist bastards are going to steal from us. Nest eggs? GONE. Home values? GONE. Confidence? GONE. Hope? GONE. All since Obama was nominated and elected.

I did a graph of our sales – June ’08, on the date when Obama clinched the nomination, our sales went suddenly 20% off previous year’s numbers, and have progressively worsened since, now 60% off our normal numbers. Our economy is dead, and the dollar will soon become worthless as well. Thanks Obama.

Bitter? Hell yeah, I am.

Fishoutofwater on November 29, 2009 at 1:15 PM

Huh, that’s strange, because before the numbers came out the AP and a lot of other media outlets were reporting that things looked much better than last year. The media wouldn’t lie to us to try to protect Obama and his failed economic policies would they?

clearbluesky on November 29, 2009 at 1:15 PM

I don’t have to spend 200-500 bucks on any Christmas presents for a woman!

YEEEEEE HAWWWW

blatantblue on November 29, 2009 at 12:22 PM

Wow, $200. Player…

simplesimon on November 29, 2009 at 12:53 PM

You can tell SS is a played and paid whor*.

CWforFreedom on November 29, 2009 at 1:17 PM

The media wouldn’t lie to us to try to protect Obama and his failed economic policies would they?

clearbluesky on November 29, 2009 at 1:15 PM

Well, yea. However, more and more writers are starting to connect the dots and I’ve seen some pretty critical articles lately…from those who used to be adoring fans.

scalleywag on November 29, 2009 at 1:19 PM

All I’ve learned from the news is that *everything* is a “trailing indicator” and that we’re already out of the recession.

We just won’t experience this prosperity until the middle of the next decade or something.

I guess people are employed and they just don’t know it yet?

DarthBrooks on November 29, 2009 at 1:29 PM

Let’s see, 16+ MILLION unemployed and retailers were expecting exactly WHAT?

GarandFan on November 29, 2009 at 1:30 PM

hmmm unemplyment goes up from 6% to 10.2% since last thanksgiving. and increase in sales drop from 3% to .5%. I think i see a correlation there. No jobs no economic activity increase. I wonder if those geniuses from Yale and Havard have seen that? those elites are so on top of hings…

unseen on November 29, 2009 at 1:30 PM

I didn’t spend a dime yesterday. I haven’t even started my Christmas shopping yet–I have to wait until I get my paycheck so I have the cash.

Shocking idea, I realize.

And I will spend much less than last year, even–and I cut way back last year.

Bob's Kid on November 29, 2009 at 1:36 PM

Aside from spending the $160, my wife also make some interesting observations. I think these are things to be learned and benefited from.

1. Some items that she had already been looking at and knew the regular prices of, she noticed had higher “regular” prices before being discounted. So the sale price was not not 50% off, but 30% off the “regular” price. Lesson: Be sure you know you are getting the deal they claim it is.

2. Three items she purchased did not come up showing the correct sale price. She had to have the cashier correct it, a process that took lots of time because they had to “verify” each wrong price. Lesson: Know the price of every item and hold them too it. Do not leave the store without checking the receipt.

3. It’s a good bet that everything in the world will be on sale sometime before December 24th, a lot of it for the same price as now, and likely less. If you think it costs too much now, be patient. Lesson: Holding off doesn’t mean you lost out.

And, finally, I have never bought (no pun intended) into the notion that you have to spend a ton of money on Christmas gifts. If you have to purchase your family and friends’ love and affection with thousands of dollars of stuff there is something amiss that needs to be fixed. Creating the expectation of a massive amount of Christmas gifts during good times makes it hard to be frugal during tough times. I have made the effort to have Christmas be as fun, exciting and magical within as mcuh reason as I can over the years, and this year, I don’t think the kids will be disappointed even though we are not spending as much.

JohnTheBuilder on November 29, 2009 at 1:42 PM

I wonder how on-line purchases might change these numbers.

One thing I changed this year: Instead of sending Christmas cards, buying & shipping gifts to family members … I sent some money to my favorite charity in all our names.

My husband passed on 9/18/07. This is our 2nd Christmas without him.

I am trying to pay for our son’s college on my own. He’s getting stuff I would normally get him, but he’s getting it for Christmas this year: socks, underwear, pajama pants.

My son’s “big” Christmas gifts are: a new wallet, and his Father’s watch … cleaned & sized to fit him.

surfhut on November 29, 2009 at 1:43 PM

I’m gonna love Christmas this year!

It’s my first Christmas being single in about 5 years!

I don’t have to spend 200-500 bucks on any Christmas presents for a woman!

YEEEEEE HAWWWW

blatantblue on November 29, 2009 at 12:22 PM

Says the head with the brain!

Crimefyter on November 29, 2009 at 1:46 PM

I wonder how much swine flu hype plays into it?

I hope sales were down here in MA, what with their brilliant plan to raise sales tax during a recession. Throw in a lot of cities and towns coming up with an equally brilliant new/higher meals tax, I don’t see any reason to brave the crowds.

Christmas shopping started early in this house, with regular visits from the UPS truck for a few weeks now.

reaganaut on November 29, 2009 at 1:46 PM

I figured that the deals wouldn’t really be there. Last year, I was amazed to see the so-called “deals.” There were very few, really.

That tells me retailers are already pretty much selling at rock-bottom prices.

Maybe lowered leases will bring some better deals in the future.

AnninCA on November 29, 2009 at 1:58 PM

A lot of these retailers are just playing games; I’ve received tons of coupons in the mail for various stores, but when you look closely, many things are “exempt” AND the dates are very restrictive. I took my 10.00 off 50.00 coupon to yesterdays “big” Old Navy sale, (which really was a pretty good sale, btw) but the coupons didn’t start until today, and duh, the “big” sale stopped last night. Also, stuff that was “door buster” on Friday was in the clearance racks Saturday night!

The salesclerk said that all they really cared about dumping fast was the holiday seasonal stuff, which is also what Target is doing- no one is planning to restock once the initial buy is gone.

anniekc on November 29, 2009 at 2:03 PM

VegasRick on November 29, 2009 at 12:15 PM

Just doing my part.

Seriously, though, does anyone shop all year round? My mother in law picks up things everywhere and rarely has to do any major shopping around this time, minus a few larger items and small odds and ends. I like this and it will work better with my budget, frankly.

Diane on November 29, 2009 at 2:07 PM

I was at the Parks in Arlington mall this weekend on Black Friday. I was expecting an absolute madhouse. I even put my youngest kid in a pair of pull-ups in case the line was too long at the bathrooms. Nothing of the sort. It was almost like a normal Saturday at the mall.

Sekhmet on November 29, 2009 at 2:11 PM

I spent Thanksgiving at my in-laws’ house in Ft. Worth; ventured out on Black Friday to one of the bigger malls in Arlington, and noticed that many, many people were doing just what I was doing – looking. Not buying, just comparing prices. It didn’t seem too crowded, I didn’t have any trouble finding a parking place and only a few stores had anything you’d consider a “crowd” in them. Wal Mart, now…that was a different story. Absolutely packed.
I picked up a few things – for myself. I shop online for most of my family’s gifts.

uncivilized on November 29, 2009 at 2:14 PM

Sales would have been dramatically higher if only retailers had referred to the day as “Friday of Color” in advertisements

ya2daup on November 29, 2009 at 2:15 PM

I spent about 200 bucks in Target on clothes, housewares and shoes. Didn’t see any bargains in the store at all, and I was just replacing stuff (socks and replacements for chipped dinnerplates) that’s a pain to make a special trip to the mall for. Also about 200 bucks at the plant nursery to replace shrubs that died in this summer’s terrible heat here in Texas.
Oh, yes and another 200 on some vintage art for my bare walls.
Oh well, guess I shopped and shopped, but it felt very quiet out there, and saw nothing to tempt me into buying anything I didn’t really want or need.

Fortunata on November 29, 2009 at 2:15 PM

Sekhmet on November 29, 2009 at 2:11 PM

Hey, that’s where I was!!!

uncivilized on November 29, 2009 at 2:15 PM

My wife left the house at 0415 and returned by 1100 with a final tally of $2300 spent. My wallet is still in intensive care, it’s touch and go.

Bishop on November 29, 2009 at 12:07 PM

I’m sure my husband would sympathize with you… Only, he is the one who went to Sam’s Club for Black Friday and I was still asleep with my girls.

He found me a brand-new camera for $129. And MS Office 07. And a brand-new printer for about $50. Stuff that we needed anyway. And all under $300. Not bad for a cheapskate.

If I had been the one out there spending $2300 in one morning, we’d be on divorce court Monday morning!

newton on November 29, 2009 at 2:25 PM

I have done no Christmas shopping and will do none. I thought this would be a good year to give all the kids an early portion of their inheritance. Christmas cards with checks enclosed will go out Tuesday. They can then do their own shopping. After all, aren’t we hearing by the end of 2010 money will be worthless?

Oleta on November 29, 2009 at 2:34 PM

Hey, that’s where I was!!!

uncivilized on November 29, 2009 at 2:15 PM

Well, I’m back home in Austin, now. I was the black-haired lady dressed festively with the cute, blonde 4-year-old son who was charming all the ladies in the stores.

Sekhmet on November 29, 2009 at 2:39 PM

I had heard on the radio last week that retail stores had drastically cut products from their typical inventory because they expected a less-than-vibrant sales season.

onlineanalyst on November 29, 2009 at 2:43 PM

We were line at Toys-R-Us by about 10:00… By midnight there were over 1,000 people in line by my guess. They let us in a couple hundred at a time, and the line was just finishing up when we rode by at 3:30 (after breakfast at a near by diner).
-
Wal-Mart at 5:00 was about as crowded as a better than normal Friday night, only many folks were in the lines for the ‘door buster ticketed items’.
-
We nailed every item on my daughter’s list, except one minor toy… Plus I covered a couple of the girls big gifts at a nice discount. Only buy the deep discounts is the rule…
-
My daughter’s friends do this as a group thing… There were 5 of us in line together at T-R-U… Biggest savings on a single toy, $80 off of $250, so about 30%… Some things were a better percentage saved… but on cheaper items. Figure we averaged 40% or so off the every day price.
-

RalphyBoy on November 29, 2009 at 2:47 PM

Has this data been verified and approved by Joe Biden?

Cybergeezer on November 29, 2009 at 2:56 PM

I never thought I’d actually give a rip about Black Friday…

While I’m not sure if I can quite label sales figures on this overhyped day as the proverbial ‘canary in the coal mine’, what I’ve seen and heard does not bode well at all for the Christmas season…even worse for the economy in the near-to-mid future.

Dark-Star on November 29, 2009 at 2:59 PM

Personally, I’m watching my spending more this year because it’s my first Christmas was a mortgage.

salmonczar on November 29, 2009 at 3:03 PM

with a mortgage, even.

salmonczar on November 29, 2009 at 3:04 PM

hmmm unemplyment goes up from 6% to 10.2% since last thanksgiving. and increase in sales drop from 3% to .5%. I think i see a correlation there. No jobs no economic activity increase. I wonder if those geniuses from Yale and Havard have seen that? those elites are so on top of hings…

unseen on November 29, 2009 at 1:30 PM

But but SimpleSimon says that is good news

CWforFreedom on November 29, 2009 at 3:05 PM

Send away all Chinese Ships. That’s the first thing I would do if I was President.

No one needs all the Black Friday trash they bought.

PrezHussein on November 29, 2009 at 3:21 PM

PrezHussein on November 29, 2009 at 3:21 PM

Not a few factories are doing the a system called “Just In Time” for their manufacturing – literally relying on shipments of components to come in at exactly the right 24 hour period (or even LESS) so the pieces are there…just in time.

It’s the ultimate expression of American impatience and foolishness applied to manufacturing, and any serious, immediate disruption to the system as it stands could cause a total economic meltdown.

Dark-Star on November 29, 2009 at 3:30 PM

The other thing missing in the analysis is the effect of inflation.
For example, if inflation went up 5% in a year then $10 billion in sales in year one would have to be $10.5 billion in the second year just to be equal.

albill on November 29, 2009 at 3:33 PM

In the meantime, gun and ammo stores continue to charge top dollar and make a hefty profit. Huh.

One would almost think our system may collapse fairly soon.

But, of course, they’ll just make up rosy economic reports the same way they’ve been making up $.

Dr. ZhivBlago on November 29, 2009 at 3:35 PM

Don’t tell my wife that Black Friday was a bust. She went to a national department store and bought a major appliance.

Maybe it will help them from going bankrupt or asking for government bailout money.

LurP on November 29, 2009 at 3:55 PM

Don’t tell my wife that Black Friday was a bust. She went to a national department store and bought a major appliance.

Maybe it will help them from going bankrupt or asking for government bailout money.

LurP on November 29, 2009 at 3:55 PM

You should have waited

CWforFreedom on November 29, 2009 at 3:59 PM

with a mortgage, even.

salmonczar on November 29, 2009 at 3:04 PM

This will be around 12 for me, without one.

Oldnuke on November 29, 2009 at 4:48 PM

I did a graph of our sales – June ‘08, on the date when Obama clinched the nomination, our sales went suddenly 20% off previous year’s numbers, and have progressively worsened since, now 60% off our normal numbers. Our economy is dead, and the dollar will soon become worthless as well. Thanks Obama.Bitter? Hell yeah, I am.Fishoutofwater on November 29, 2009 at 1:15 PM

I think that you’re just a bad businessman. When’s the going out of business sale?

simplesimon on November 29, 2009 at 5:09 PM

I think that you’re just a bad businessman. When’s the going out of business sale?

simplesimon on November 29, 2009 at 5:09 PM

I think he deserves a bailout don’t you? or is that only for Obama’s wall street buddies and union thug cronies?

right4life on November 29, 2009 at 5:31 PM

I think he deserves a bailout don’t you? or is that only for Obama’s wall street buddies and union thug cronies?

right4life on November 29, 2009 at 5:31 PM

No. He’s just an angry guy who can’t run a business. No bailout for him.

simplesimon on November 29, 2009 at 5:50 PM

No. He’s just an angry guy who can’t run a business. No bailout for him. simplesimon on November 29, 2009 at 5:50 PM

This from a pimple-faced moron troll who’s never created a job in his life, while I’ve created scores of them and provided great livings for most. Time for your dirt-nap, little boy.

Fishoutofwater on November 29, 2009 at 6:07 PM

This from a pimple-faced moron troll who’s never created a job in his life, while I’ve created scores of them and provided great livings for most. Time for your dirt-nap, little boy.

Fishoutofwater on November 29, 2009 at 6:07 PM

Dirt-nap?? Settle down, failed businessman. Just because your business is dead doesn’t mean that I should be too.

simplesimon on November 29, 2009 at 6:22 PM

Well, I worked Black Friday. For a month we were preparing for the onslaught. I’m a “suit specialist” with JCPenney’s.
Started at 4am. The first hour was fairly slow, the deals were not really any better than we have offered at other times, if you pay attention, you would know that.

The store’s sales goal was $644,000. Actual sales, $657,000 so the bosses were pretty happy. Guess we’ll get cake or something:)

It’s the first time I’ve worked a BF, but I’ve shopped them plenty of times especially when my two kids were little. I could get it all done in a day and spend the rest of the holiday baking and mailing homemade goodies to family and friends.

This year is going to be a quiet and inexpensive one. With one a senior in college and the other a freshman, money goes out as though through a sieve.

My daughter, the freshman, when asked about anything she wanted for Christmas said that the money we were paying for her to attend SDSU was Christmas for her for the next four years.

My son, the senior, was not as sweet. He wants a PS3.

Jvette on November 29, 2009 at 6:24 PM

I maxed out a credit card to purchase photography equipment after gold reached 1190 thinking that if hyper inflation hits, I’ll never be able to buy anything like it. Of course, if we get hit with deflation. . . .

Skandia Recluse on November 29, 2009 at 6:29 PM

Last year we spent around $1300…this year $600 so far with another couple to go…I do not trust the economy much and the government less. I expect free health care to greatly raise my bills next year….so, I am cautious.

JIMV on November 29, 2009 at 6:53 PM

I bought a $1.00 princess wand from Target’s dollar bins to add to the dress up clothes stash I’ve been collecting all year for my daughter’s Christmas present. I also bought beer and tums. Stimulating!

Diane on November 29, 2009 at 12:10 PM

Too bad you couldn’t find the “PFM” stick that seems to be creating or saving all these jobs.

Seriously, two points:

First, great gift strategy. I’ll have to use it next year with a neice who is such a diva that at three was already posing with “her best side” to the camera. Really.

Secondly, I went out Saturday and the stores seemed just like any other Saturday.

highhopes on November 29, 2009 at 7:21 PM

Well, I worked Black Friday. For a month we were preparing for the onslaught. I’m a “suit specialist” with JCPenney’s.
Started at 4am. The first hour was fairly slow, the deals were not really any better than we have offered at other times, if you pay attention, you would know that.

Jvette on November 29, 2009 at 6:24 PM

I only shop a couple places for business clothing and they are constantly having sales. BF was no different than one of a myriad of opportunities to get the same stuff “on sale.”

Beyond that, I for one have to be in the right mood to go shopping for clothes and 4am on the day after Thanksgiving (or any morning) is not one of those times!

highhopes on November 29, 2009 at 7:26 PM

No. He’s just an angry guy who can’t run a business. No bailout for him.

simplesimon on November 29, 2009 at 5:50 PM

The filthy lying coward in the White House has bailed out the quasi-government agencies responsible for the mortage crisis by requring lenders to extend credit to those who had no business getting a loan for a postage stamp let alone a house. He has bailed out the American auto industry which should have been forced to implode under the extortion of the UAW. He has bailed out insurance companies who had bad business practices. Nobody should be denied a bailout because the Obama is the rat bastard traitor who set the bar so low that Bernie Madoff looks like an honest broker.

highhopes on November 29, 2009 at 7:31 PM

Spc Steve on November 29, 2009 at 12:09 PM

For clarity, could you present the benefits as a bulleted list?

Kralizec on November 29, 2009 at 7:44 PM

bought a $1.00 princess wand from Target’s dollar bins to add to the dress up clothes stash I’ve been collecting all year for my daughter’s Christmas present. I also bought beer and tums. Stimulating!

Diane on November 29, 2009 at 12:10 PM

The cheap stuff always goes over best. The missus just found a tiara at target for a buck too i think.

simplesimon on November 29, 2009 at 7:45 PM

The cheap stuff always goes over best. The missus just found a tiara at target for a buck too i think.

simplesimon on November 29, 2009 at 7:45 PM

Bet you look dashing in your tiara…enjoy dimwit

CWforFreedom on November 29, 2009 at 8:00 PM

The missus just found a tiara at target for a buck too i think.

simplesimon on November 29, 2009 at 7:45 PM

Will you be wearing that with your spike heels and fishnets to school tomorrow, trany?

Knucklehead on November 29, 2009 at 8:02 PM

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