Video: Retailers desperate for “second season” boost

posted at 6:01 pm on December 26, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

After experiencing the smallest year-on-year increase in Christmas season sales since 2008, retailers need a boost this week in post-holiday shopping to redeem their bottom lines. Spending increased over 2011 holiday sales, according to SpendingPulse, but only by an anemic 0.7% (via Jeff Dunetz):

U.S. holiday retail sales this year were the weakest since 2008, when the nation was in a deep recession. In 2012, the shopping season was disrupted by bad weather and consumers’ rising uncertainty about the economy.

A report that tracks spending on popular holiday goods, the MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse, said Tuesday that sales in the two months before Christmasincreased 0.7 percent, compared with last year. Many analysts had expected holiday sales to grow 3 to 4 percent.

In 2008, sales declined by between 2 percent and 4 percent as the financial crisis that crested that fall dragged the economy into recession. Last year, by contrast, retail sales in November and December rose between 4 percent and 5 percent, according to ShopperTrak, a separate market research firm. A 4 percent increase is considered a healthy season.

The Associated Press offers a number of possible reasons for the poor performance, some plausible (Hurricane Sandy) and some less so (national grief over Newtown shooting), but this gets closest to the mark:

The numbers also show how Washington’s current budget impasse is trickling down to Main Street and unsettling consumers. If Americans remain reluctant to spend, analysts say, economic growth could falter next year.

In the end, even steep last-minute discounts weren’t enough to get people into stores, said Marshal Cohen, chief research analyst at the market research firm NPD Inc.

“A lot of the Christmas spirit was left behind way back in Black Friday weekend,” Cohen said, referring to the traditional retail rush the day after the Thanksgiving holiday in late November. “We had one reason after another for consumers to say, `I’m going to stick to my list and not go beyond it.”‘

Let’s just say that consumers seem more responsible than the federal government in planning their spending around contingencies for 2013.  The economy seems almost certain to head back into recession, and taxes will likely go up on all Americans with Washington tied up in knots over fiscal-cliff policies.  Small wonder that people sheltered cash this year rather than splurge.

NBC’s Today reported this morning that retailers hope that the “second season” will make up some of the lost ground, but that seems unlikely as long as the same conditions exist.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

This is a good sign that people might be learning to depend less on the credit cards.

portlandon on December 26, 2012 at 6:07 PM

Associated Press is pathetic.

In all of the stories that it and Reuters run (that get plastered across every news service in the U.S.) they NEVER, NEVER, NEVER mention OBAMA being the reason that people are not spending.

They try to point to every shiny object they can think of (the Tsunami, bad weather, hurricanes, oil spills, oil prices, home values, and of course REPUBLICANS in Congress) but they NEVER, NEVER, EVER mention Obama.

OBAMA is the reason for the crappy Consumer spending during the holidays. People KNOW we have 4 more years of his crazy spending. He and most of Congress should be in JAIL for their traitorous financial spending.

That picture of Obama on Drudge……the man is destroying the financial health of this country, and WE JUST RE-ELECTED HIM.

We are SO STUPID.

PappyD61 on December 26, 2012 at 6:13 PM

Obama is the reason for the crappy sales season. Yeah, the fiscal cliff ought to do wonders for sales. You elected him; deal with it. We told you so.

Philly on December 26, 2012 at 6:19 PM

….and JCPenney?

We were in the store on Christmas Eve (as we went in to the mall) and the place was a ghost of it’s former self.

Just focus on clothes, and prices Mr. Johnson and not on pursuing your sexual orientation marketing agenda.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfZKntQZSbo

PappyD61 on December 26, 2012 at 6:20 PM

“……she shares the same values that WE do.”

JC Penney CEO.

PappyD61 on December 26, 2012 at 6:21 PM

This is a good sign that people might be learning to depend less on the credit cards.

portlandon on December 26, 2012 at 6:07 PM

Or all the spenders have maxed out their credit cards.

PrettyD_Vicious on December 26, 2012 at 6:21 PM

The numbers also show how Washington’s current budget impasse is trickling down to Main Street and unsettling consumers.

Oh, BS! Main Street is barely aware of where Washington DC is let alone worry about the fiscal cliff. If it affects them, they will just blame Republicans anyway.

Vince on December 26, 2012 at 6:23 PM

Nearly half the country woke up after the election to depression and grief and they wonder why spending for Christmas isn’t breaking records? This year, money is tight, the outlook is not good. We chose to focus on family. It has been a great Christmas, and I’m not going to let this stuff ruin it.

STL_Vet on December 26, 2012 at 6:23 PM

I just saw a story about this on Fox, and analysts are urging people to think before spending on big-ticket items in 2013 because of the rotten financial situation we’re facing. Most of us didn’t need to be told that, but dumb Obama voters probably could use the advice (which they will ignore, then beg the government for a bailout).

2013 means I will be even more frugal than normal, meaning I will spend money on basic needs (and looking for more ways to save on them). LET IT BURN.

Philly on December 26, 2012 at 6:25 PM

Oh, BS! Main Street is barely aware of where Washington DC is let alone worry about the fiscal cliff. If it affects them, they will just blame Republicans anyway.

Vince on December 26, 2012 at 6:23 PM

Yeah, no kidding. No matter what happens, Republicans get blamed, Democrats continue to lie about everything, media runs with it.

Let’s stop pretending that THIS TIME the dems will get blamed for something if “only 30 republicans” vote with the dems.

This deal will be called bi-partisan, and if the american people don’t like it, they’ll say it was a much better deal, but it was weakened by the republicans.

That’s the excuse they sell to their base about Obamacare.

Timin203 on December 26, 2012 at 6:30 PM

And then a wire snapped in New York. Own it libs.

“With the election now over, it is once again safe to talk about the economy and jobs; now that it is not a campaign issue, it’s back to reality.”

Brian Williams introducing his 11/8/2012 nightly newscast

DanMan on December 26, 2012 at 6:33 PM

Worst retail season in four years.

Yeah, well – if you think things are bad now, just imagine what it’s going to be like in 2013 … 2014 … 2015 … 2016 … yep, as long as obama is in office and obamacare is the law of the land, we are totally screwed.

Pork-Chop on December 26, 2012 at 6:33 PM

O B A M A P H O N E !

tom daschle concerned on December 26, 2012 at 6:37 PM

Christmas 2 Now coming in June…

“Happy Love Day, everyone!”

Oil Can on December 26, 2012 at 6:48 PM

Less retail stores are accepting EBT cards these days. Times are hard for the Obama voters.

Rambotito on December 26, 2012 at 6:48 PM

BUT I THOGHT BLACK FRIDAY BROKE ALL RECORDS!!!!!!
all those unsold xmas trees. giving them away for free at the end.

who will pin the tail on obama?

renalin on December 26, 2012 at 6:49 PM

Thank god we elected a president who cares about people like me.

Mark1971 on December 26, 2012 at 6:54 PM

I was in a major DFW mall this afternoon. Ghost town, even with all those gift certificates.

Sekhmet on December 26, 2012 at 6:54 PM

Lets see…four years, four years… I know something happens every four years. Oh, well, as long as I get my ‘free’ stuff it’s all good, ’cause gubmint money is free! Right?

ghostwalker1 on December 26, 2012 at 6:56 PM

renalin on December 26, 2012 at 6:49 PM

No one. Not the Potomoc Pravda, not the Dems, Not the Repubs and certainly not the jackwagons who elected Zero!

ghostwalker1 on December 26, 2012 at 6:59 PM

“Thank you, President Obama!”-several Huffpo posters when the stock market rallied a few weeks ago.

Dr. ZhivBlago on December 26, 2012 at 7:00 PM

Video: Retailers desperate for “second season” boost

Well, the weather’s bad up north (climate change, of course). We’re sure to see the bestest economy evah next spring once Obama can put his brilliant economic policies into full effect!!!

/

Dr. ZhivBlago on December 26, 2012 at 7:03 PM

Why did the reporter say that one of the reasons was “Hurricane Sandy”. That only affected maybe 2 states. I doubt people in Georgia or Utah were not affected by “Hurricane Sandy”. Are these reporters aware that there are states other than New York and Jersey?

kurtzz3 on December 26, 2012 at 7:05 PM

ghostwalker1 on December 26, 2012 at 6:59 PM

yep. obamas making a witches brew of economic strife and racial tension. in four more years he gets to blame whitey, and stand above the fray.

renalin on December 26, 2012 at 7:06 PM

The economy seems almost certain to head back into recession.

Yeah, “back” into recession.
From the exploding economy of the last four years.
.
No site does a better job of buying into the left-media axis’ definitions and talking points than the rock-ribbed conservative warriors at Tepid Air.

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on December 26, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Oh, wait, we’re not suppose to bring up bad economic news because then it looks like we’re just using it to attack Obama…we should indeed support OUR President so that the next four years will be EVEN BETTER than the last four years! C’mon people, let’s move Forward together!

Obviously the GOP needs to give in to the Dems on this fiscal cliff thing, and the rich need to be taxed more so the People can have more money to spend on Christmas holiday er, Winter Solstice Gaia Festival presents.

Dr. ZhivBlago on December 26, 2012 at 7:09 PM

The only things I want won’t go on sale, and why should they since demand is through the roof.

Bishop on December 26, 2012 at 7:10 PM

. Are these reporters aware that there are states other than New York and Jersey?

kurtzz3 on December 26, 2012 at 7:05 PM

No.

JPeterman on December 26, 2012 at 7:13 PM

A service based economy cannot survive on its own, and as long as 0bama-esque draconian regulation and taxes are the rule of the land we will never achieve what this Nation needs to survive and be prosperous…manufacturing. The sheeple that installed Barry for another 4(?) years have not a clue as

DanMan on December 26, 2012 at 6:33 PM

alluded to, the entirety of the populace needs to read Atlas…let it sink in, realize that while it was written 50 some odd years ago, it is a frighteningly accurat depiction of the ever increasing deterioration we have at hand. The looters are not only at the gate, they are smashing it in. Really, anyone with a 6th grade education in math and enough sense to actually pay attention knew how this Holiday season was going to play out…color me UN-surprised.

NY Conservative on December 26, 2012 at 7:16 PM

LET IT BURN!!!

AnyHotAirCommenter on November 7, 2012 at 2:13 AM

Looks like it may well do, whether we like it or not… [gulp!]

Glenn Jericho on December 26, 2012 at 7:29 PM

We had a no-gift Christmas this year. Just stockings with fruit, candy, nuts and some small gag items. Then, a great Christmas dinner together. I smoked a brisket that was proclaimed ‘meat candy’. As we finished, it started snowing. Unusual for a Christmas Day here in East Texas.

All-in-all, a great day with family.

trigon on December 26, 2012 at 7:33 PM

The Ass. Press is a subversive organization. We all know the reason for the weak retail spending…and he’s been in Hawaii playing golf. The bad news…he’s headed back to DC.

d1carter on December 26, 2012 at 7:33 PM

Hmmm. Record unemployment for 4 years. Why aren’t more people spending money? What could the answer be? Hmmm.

talkingpoints on December 26, 2012 at 7:51 PM

Now that the elections are over can we start calling it what it is? The Obama depression of 2009? I’m sick and tired of the government cooking the numbers to make it seem as if the rat-eared wonder’s gifts to his cronies and union buddies did anything but transfer massive wealth from honest folk to the low-life scum that are collectively called Democrats. Parasites all.

Happy Nomad on December 26, 2012 at 8:00 PM

We all know the reason for the weak retail spending…and he’s been in Hawaii playing golf. The bad news…he’s headed back to DC.

d1carter on December 26, 2012 at 7:33 PM

Not all together bad news if you’re living in Hawaii. Of course, his grifter wife and selfish brats are staying behind costing the American taxpayer more for their fun than most people make in a year.

Happy Nomad on December 26, 2012 at 8:02 PM

Hey, everyone! I have the most awesome idea evah!

Let’s RE-elect Barack Hussein Obama for four more years! Yesssssss.

/Eat it, people. Eat that crap sammich and tell him you love it.

Key West Reader on December 26, 2012 at 8:11 PM

We had a no-gift Christmas this year. Just stockings with fruit, candy, nuts and some small gag items. Then, a great Christmas dinner together. I smoked a brisket that was proclaimed ‘meat candy’. As we finished, it started snowing. Unusual for a Christmas Day here in East Texas.

All-in-all, a great day with family.

trigon on December 26, 2012 at 7:33 PM
……………………….

Good for you! I couldn’t afford a Christmas tree this year so the kid and I decorated a palm tree and stuck it in the living room. He got one gift that was well thought out. He made me a home-made card, which will be treasured forever.

This is one of the more memorable Christmases I have had.

Key West Reader on December 26, 2012 at 8:14 PM

The welfare and disability checks were spent on Black Friday and early in December. The less then half of the country who did not vote for Obama (or Romney for that matter) did not play the game this year. Those folks know how to budget and did so accordingly based on the election results, which is why you are now seeing the retail results.

Rockshine on December 26, 2012 at 8:30 PM

And meanwhile Obama says Merry Christmas from Hawaii with love, everyone!

Michelle sends her best regards as well!!

Sherman1864 on December 26, 2012 at 8:36 PM

We had a no-gift Christmas this year. Just stockings with fruit, candy, nuts and some small gag items. Then, a great Christmas dinner together. I smoked a brisket that was proclaimed ‘meat candy’. As we finished, it started snowing. Unusual for a Christmas Day here in East Texas.

All-in-all, a great day with family.

trigon on December 26, 2012 at 7:33 PM

Good for you! I couldn’t afford a Christmas tree this year so the kid and I decorated a palm tree and stuck it in the living room. He got one gift that was well thought out. He made me a home-made card, which will be treasured forever.

This is one of the more memorable Christmases I have had.

Key West Reader on December 26, 2012 at 8:14 PM

Same held true with the Nomad clan. A very austere Christmas. We’ve never been big spenders for Christmas but this year the focus was definitely on things other than gifts. Good meals, catching up, and fellowship were definitely more important than “stuff” under the tree. I wonder how many others have a similar experience.

Happy Nomad on December 26, 2012 at 8:56 PM

And meanwhile Obama says Merry Christmas from Hawaii with love, everyone!

Michelle sends her best regards as well!!

Sherman1864 on December 26, 2012 at 8:36 PM

You forgot the $4M pricetag for the taxpayer since the filthy Obama family demands their annual Christmas vacation in Hawaii.

Happy Nomad on December 26, 2012 at 8:57 PM

…I’m sure JugEars will come up with some sort of stimulus plan!

KOOLAID2 on December 26, 2012 at 9:01 PM

I admit that I was not as frugal as I expected to for Christmas. I had all but one of my grown kids here, and the charming young lady who may well be my future daughter in law and her 4 year old daughter who will then be a grandchild. But I did it with the realization that this may well be the last time we are able to get together like that. Next year and beyond, we probably will not be able to afford to, and some of us may not be here for various reasons.

Subotai Bahadur

Subotai Bahadur on December 26, 2012 at 9:07 PM

It is just possible that less money us being spent because less presents are being given because people don’t have any idea anymore why they ever gave gifts ib the first place. Halloween celebration and whatever attendant spending is involved are doing quite well. You don’t give gifts to celebrate some tradition a little stronger than a day off and pretty soon you don’t give gifts anymore at all. We also don’t celebrate Colombus day, memorial day, or veterans day for the same reasons; fewer and fewer people have any connection to them.

douglucy on December 26, 2012 at 9:07 PM

Gift cards are great for folks who want to stay on budget, and I’m guessing lots of folks bought them and shopped bargains. I did that and stayed within budget. We will all learn to economize even more in the next few years.

Philly on December 26, 2012 at 10:05 PM

I spent 80% less this year on Christmas gifts. So did my elderly mother. This is the time to be very frugal and conserve resources that a family needs to survive.

These next 4 years are going to be miserable and many people just don’t realize what is coming over the horizon.

karenhasfreedom on December 26, 2012 at 11:01 PM

I went at least 50% less for Christmas. I also plan on significantly cutting back this year. I’m not going to feed an economy of moochers.

batter on December 27, 2012 at 12:55 AM

What’s the matter, Obama voters?! Not too confident in your financial situation, are you?! Nor in your “savior” to “save” you from this mess?!

Sterling Holobyte on December 27, 2012 at 1:15 AM

You forgot the $4M pricetag for the taxpayer since the filthy Obama family demands their annual Christmas vacation in Hawaii.

Happy Nomad on December 26, 2012 at 8:57 PM

But, but, didn’t you hear? He is coming back from his vacation early so he can… continue to say no to whatever plan the GOP suggests.
It’s a shame they had to tear him away from his lovely vacation, isn’t it?! His cape and leotards must have come back from the cleaners early.

Sterling Holobyte on December 27, 2012 at 1:22 AM

Worst retail season in four years.

Unless you’re selling guns, ammo or high capacity magazines.
Government can stimulate some economies, it just depends on what they say.

GruntDoc on December 27, 2012 at 5:47 AM

We also dramatically cut back spending this year.

Oh and FYI the recession never ended here in the Possum Holler/Realville metroplex.

PappyD61 on December 27, 2012 at 7:29 AM

Yes there is a political/macroeconomic aspect of sluggish sales figures but there is also an Occam’s Razor explanation: every store is selling cheap tat, most of it made in China.

Outsourcing of assembly to China is nothing new, but Chinese fabric selection, design and tailoring over the last 5-10 years have produced the kind of boxy, see-through potato sack look as worn by the Beijing masses. Retailers have eaten their seed corn (brand identity, reputation for quality/styling, customer loyalty) and now attempt to blame a competitive marketplace and shrinking margins. Retailers are desperate to convince you that the skimpy, the threadbare and the tacky are ‘fashionable’ but most of us have worn-out screen-printed T-shirts hiding somewhere in a drawer or a closet and we aren’t all that interested in paying top dollar for more of the same.

I braved a busy upscale mall before Xmas looking for quality. I might as well have been looking for a virgin in a cathouse. I left empty-handed.

jangle12 on December 27, 2012 at 8:34 AM

U.S. holiday retail sales this year were the weakest since 2008, when the nation was in a deep recession.

And when and where was there any recovery? The recession of 2008 is the same recession in 2012 . Unemployment in my state is still over 9%, the number of people receiving food stamps is higher than ever, and the disability rolls have at times outpaced job growth.
Who are these optimistic analysts that think sales should be up?

lynncgb on December 27, 2012 at 8:38 AM

lynncgb on December 27, 2012 at 8:38 AM

You know the answer to your own question. There was/is no recovery yet. Aren’t we getting ready to extend unemployment benefits yet again as part of the budget deal?

hawkdriver on December 27, 2012 at 8:57 AM

Can’t wait for the inaugural address and the SOTU speech. I’m sure he’ll be back to bringing us together real soon.

Kissmygrits on December 27, 2012 at 9:31 AM

This year was junk for me. Shut down my business, took a minimum-wage second job on top of my fulltime to survive. No money for anything Christmas. Still, it was a wonderful Christmas.

Took a nice long walk with the wife, drank some locally-grown coffee in Old San Juan, came home to a dinner of ribs and home-made mashed potatoes.

Last year we threw a big party and had about forty people over to the house for Christmas dinner. This year we put a new business concept on ice, closed the one we had running for two years, and battened down the hatches. We’re eating mostly from Sam’s Club these days, making massive batches of freezer dinners and oatmeal.

Of course, the fiscal cliff had nothing to do with any of this. SQUIRREL!

JoseQuinones on December 27, 2012 at 10:23 AM

Retailers should lobby their congressman to introduce a bill banning the sale of some big ticket items available in their store.

agmartin on December 27, 2012 at 12:03 PM

JCPenney will now pick up speed as it circles the drain.

Reap it LibTards®.

8thAirForce on December 27, 2012 at 12:28 PM

here is the reason.

prices are too high, people are broke.

The FED’s QE program has driven prices up to the point where the vast majority of the avg person’s take home pay (for those that still have a job) leaving very little left over for gifts.

unseen on December 27, 2012 at 12:30 PM

unseen on December 27, 2012 at 12:30 PM

If I see ONE more email from my employer along the lines of “stop blaming the economy”, I’m gonna be tempted to snail-mail him a spring-loaded banana cream pie.

People are shutting down their businesses and retiring prematurely and we’re get roasted for not making ridiculous sales goals…thank God I’ve been able to do as well as I have.

MelonCollie on December 27, 2012 at 9:08 PM

To retailers: Try bigger donations to Obama and he just might bail you out.

Sherman1864 on December 28, 2012 at 6:40 AM