Black Friday loses luster as holiday season gets off to slowest start in years

posted at 10:01 am on December 2, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

It’s not just going to be the short shopping season this year that impacts retailers, at least if Black Friday weekend numbers mean anything. Despite the shorter time frame for holiday shopping and the extended hours on Thanksgiving in stores, sales in brick-and-mortar stores fell 2.9% over 2012, and shoppers spent less per person in part due to extensive discounting:

The Thanksgiving-weekend shopping numbers are in, and a few things are clear: Sales were down this year, Black Friday is losing its dominance, and e-commerce is still gaining ground on brick-and-mortar shopping.

Shoppers spent an estimated $57.4 billion from Thanksgiving Day through Sunday, Dec. 1, down from $59.1 billion in 2012, according to the National Retail Federation, a retail industry trade group. That 2.9 percent decline comes alongside a nearly 4 percent cut in spending per shopper. The federation estimates each shopper this weekend spent an average of $407.02, down from more than $423 last year.

A few factors contributed to the decline in spending this year, the federation said in a call with reporters on Sunday: One is that consumers report they expect to have tight budgets this year, despite a recovering economy. However, the NRF notes it may also be that shoppers chose to start making purchases well before this year’s late Thanksgiving.

The extended hours were a success from a foot-traffic standpoint, but not necessarily from sales:

Stores that opened their doors on Thursday — a new trend to lure consumers even on the sacrosanct Thanksgiving family holiday itself — attracted 45 million people, a 27 percent increase over last year.

The survey, conducted for the NRF by Prosper Insights & Analytics, surveyed 4,464 adults on Friday and Saturday, with a 1.5 percent margin of error.

But customers came in even bigger numbers for the steep discounts available on so-called Black Friday, considered the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season.

The frenzy was such that tempers flared across the nation, with reports of fistfights, a stabbing and a shooting.

In all, around 92 million people shopped in stores or online Friday, for a 3.5 percent increase from 2012.

But they spent less on average ($407.02 per person from Thursday through Sunday) and their larger numbers failed to make up for the decreased spending, for the first time since 2009.

ABC also reports on the “disappointing start,” but says Cyber Monday might be better:

Over the four-day weekend, spending is estimated to reach $57.4 billion, down 2.9 percent from last year. The retailers’ trade group also says consumers are cautious about spending.

Today’s Cyber Monday numbers could rise compared with last year because of two trends. Some of the season’s must-have items include tech, from new smartphones to gaming systems by Sony and Microsoft, and tablet upgrades by Apple and its rivals. Each year more consumers go online instead of doing all their shopping at brick-and-mortar stores.

After seeing scenes like this, it’s no wonder:

Maybe some of these brick-and-mortar retailers need to rethink their marketing plans to dial down the consumer panic that they’ve used to drive people into their stores on Black Friday and Thanksgiving. Frankly, I can’t think of a better commercial for on-line holiday shopping than one of the news stories that follow these outbreaks of greedy madness.

On the other hand, even crazy generosity doesn’t pay off for this Minnesota man:

A 29-year-old Minnesota man who says he was trying to spread holiday cheer by tossing 1,000 dollar bills over an upper floor railing at the Mall of America has been cited for disorderly conduct.

Serge Vorobyov, of Apple Valley, admitted throwing his “last $1,000″ from the fourth floor on Friday as a choir performed “Let it Snow.” Vorobyov said he also kept tossing cash as he continued down the escalator.

Vorobyov said he’s going through a divorce, lost his car hauling business and hoped the positivity of throwing the money would come back to him.

“I wanted to do some sort of pay it forward kind of thing,” Vorobyov said Sunday.

So far, it’s not working. The Mall of America has banned him for the next year.


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A 29-year-old Minnesota man

Funny, but not too bright.

22044 on December 2, 2013 at 10:07 AM

“The economy is much improved under my presidency” –obamagoebbels

Schadenfreude on December 2, 2013 at 10:07 AM

I went out to Worst Buy and Wal-Mart around 11PM Thursday night. Granted, Wal-Mart had been open for 5 hours and Worst Buy for 3 at that point. But both stores were not that busy and I didn’t have to wait long at all in order to check out at the register.

Now it could be that a lot of people(myself included) are doing most of their shopping online these days thanks to price-matching as well as these brick-and-mortars offering the same deals on their websites(not to mention free shipping most of the time). But it’s not like the internet wasn’t an option the last few years and yet these stores were still way more packed. It looked like a bad omen to me.

Doughboy on December 2, 2013 at 10:08 AM

OT – Hah-hah-hah

Cuomo claimed last week that Christie, the new head of the Republican Governors Association — an organization whose purpose is to elect GOP governors — had quickly called him to say The Post was wrong in reporting the New Jersey governor was ready to back Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, should he become the Republican nominee for governor next year.

“I spoke to Gov. Christie this morning, who told me the exact opposite,’’ Cuomo contended in reference to last week’s “Inside Albany” column.

But Christie spokesman Colin Reed refused to confirm Cuomo’s claim, referring questions to Christie political consultant and longtime GOP operative Mike DuHaime, who likewise refused to comment.

Schadenfreude on December 2, 2013 at 10:08 AM

“My healt’care’ website works perfect now” –obamgoebbels

Schadenfreude on December 2, 2013 at 10:09 AM

Under trickle down economic theory the massive growth in corporate profits and major gains on Wall Street in the last few years should have inspired the investment class to increase wages. Instead, real wages have declined in the face of inflation. And then people wonder why consumer spending may be lower.

libfreeordie on December 2, 2013 at 10:10 AM

ObamaCare is killing the economy…and Americans.

d1carter on December 2, 2013 at 10:14 AM

One is that consumers report they expect to have tight budgets this year, despite a recovering economy.

How does a recovering economy help untighten a budget? I’m not seeing any costs go down.

Dr. Frank Enstine on December 2, 2013 at 10:15 AM

I participated in “Small business Saturday” and bought from a locally owned store instead of my usual big box music store. I got something I can use from someone I actually know.

Mini-14 on December 2, 2013 at 10:15 AM

Under trickle down economic theory the massive growth in corporate profits and major gains on Wall Street in the last few years should have inspired the investment class to increase wages. Instead, real wages have declined in the face of inflation. And then people wonder why consumer spending may be lower.

libfreeordie on December 2, 2013 at 10:10 AM

You’re slipping…you forgot to throw in someone being
Racist in your post…

ToddPA on December 2, 2013 at 10:15 AM

ROFL at those savages going crazy for a POS Chinese tv that won’t even work 6 months from now.

I swear you could bring out a pallet of dirty skivvies collected from inmates of a Guatemalan prison and those chuckleheads would stampede one another to get a pair.

Bishop on December 2, 2013 at 10:15 AM

Every year since 2009, it seems we get initial reports of this being a huge start to the Christmas shopping season and proof that the economic downturns is over, and every year we find out a few days later that there was irrational exuberance in those initial reports.

What it tends to be is wishful thinking on the part of both the media and the PR departments of the various stores, in taking the relatively small subset of people who will show up at whatever time the stores open looking for deals versus those who both aren’t going to brave those crowds and don’t have the disposable income to spend anyway, under the current economic conditions (I did Black Friday mid-afternoon at a Sam’s Club here in Texas and while the store had a big crowd, there was little wait at the check-out lines in a state where the economy is good, and you’d expect sales to be heavier than elsewhere).

jon1979 on December 2, 2013 at 10:17 AM

Anticipation of increasing monthly health insurance premiums have people saving money (and saving for ridiculous deductibles) rather than spending? Could be…….

iurockhead on December 2, 2013 at 10:18 AM

Under trickle down economic theory the massive growth in corporate profits and major gains on Wall Street in the last few years should have inspired the investment class to increase wages. Instead, real wages have declined in the face of inflation. And then people wonder why consumer spending may be lower.

libfreeordie on December 2, 2013 at 10:10 AM

…or it could be that Christmas shopping money is going towards new health care policies with 2X to 3X the premium payments.

jon1979 on December 2, 2013 at 10:19 AM

So far, it’s not working. The Mall of America has banned him for the next year.

Yeah, if he shows up and even if he doesn’t create another incident, the mall security will know it immediately. LOL. Mall security cops are the secret backbone of DHS.

Happy Nomad on December 2, 2013 at 10:20 AM

Is this 1979 all over again?

freedomfirst on December 2, 2013 at 10:20 AM

These stores nned to go back to the old way of attracting
customers…..offer up a set of Ginsu Knives with every purchase

They can slice Apples…then be used on Firewood…

ToddPA on December 2, 2013 at 10:21 AM

Under trickle down economic theory the massive growth in corporate profits and major gains on Wall Street in the last few years should have inspired the investment class to increase wages. Instead, real wages have declined in the face of inflation. And then people wonder why consumer spending may be lower.

libfreeordie on December 2, 2013 at 10:10 AM

Increasing wages is not a sound investment. How exactly does the investment class raise wages anyway? I have some investment in Motorola and over the last 35 years of that investment I never recall being asked if as an investor I would like to increase the wages of the workers.

I think I understand how you were trying to slam trickle down but you did a really poor job at it.

Dr. Frank Enstine on December 2, 2013 at 10:21 AM

Could it be, just maybe, that the economy is not exactly “recovering”? And that increased healthcare costs are putting a dampening effect on spending?

ojfltx on December 2, 2013 at 10:22 AM

…or it could be that Christmas shopping money is going towards new health care policies with 2X to 3X the premium payments.

jon1979 on December 2, 2013 at 10:19 AM

That’s the game the Dems play. They are going to blame all the retailing woes on…….. Sequestration and the government shutdown.

Seriously, I just think that people are so uncertain about the future (obamacare, lousy job outlook, lack of faith in government, a lazy shiftless socialist in the White House, etc.) that they just don’t feel like spending big this year.

Happy Nomad on December 2, 2013 at 10:22 AM

Could it be, just maybe, that the economy is not exactly “recovering”? And that increased healthcare costs are putting a dampening effect on spending?

ojfltx on December 2, 2013 at 10:22 AM

Impossible. If that were true the MSM would be all over it! /

Happy Nomad on December 2, 2013 at 10:23 AM

Under trickle down economic theory the massive growth in corporate profits and major gains on Wall Street in the last few years should have inspired the investment class to increase wages. Instead, real wages have declined in the face of inflation. And then people wonder why consumer spending may be lower.

libfreeordie on December 2, 2013 at 10:10 AM

Yes, why would be having inflation, libfree? Could it be because of the Fed’s QE policy, which Obama implicitly backs?

Doomberg on December 2, 2013 at 10:24 AM

Would there be a Cyber Monday if all the remaining retailers weren’t stocking the same cheap tat? I can walk through a mall and not be tempted once – to say nothing of making a purchase.

Best Buy’s dim ‘earth-friendly’ lighting now makes the place resemble a cave. It also resembles a flea market with all the flimsy rubbish on offer.

jangle12 on December 2, 2013 at 10:26 AM

Those with the money to spend are also those facing uncertain but unavoidable healthcare costs under the ACA. There might just be a connection.

PersonFromPorlock on December 2, 2013 at 10:26 AM

good points Happy Nomad. I also think that after 5 yrs of bills going up…food, gas, utilities, etc., Added to lack of interest bearing savings accounts, disposable income is shot.

CoffeeLover on December 2, 2013 at 10:29 AM

Could it be because of the Fed’s QE policy, which Obama implicitly backs?

Doomberg on December 2, 2013 at 10:24 AM

Really? Is that the best you have? Its Obama’s fault for implicitly backing QE by allowing Bush appointee Ben Bernanke to keep his job? And has nothing to do with the economic blackmail conducted by Wall Street or isn’t the result of the influence of conomic theories which have argued for upward distribution as the best means to plan the economy for the last 30 years? You’re right. Obama invented quantitative easing and absolutely is its strongest intellectual backer.

libfreeordie on December 2, 2013 at 10:29 AM

If taxes are included, me and my wife did our share of shopping.

astonerii on December 2, 2013 at 10:31 AM

Under trickle down economic theory the massive growth in corporate profits and major gains on Wall Street in the last few years should have inspired the investment class to increase wages. Instead, real wages have declined in the face of inflation. And then people wonder why consumer spending may be lower.

libfreeordie on December 2, 2013 at 10:10 AM

Trickle down economics works perfectly fine when a utterly incompetent fool like Obama is not President… Obama is the biggest friend ever of Wall Street bankers, most of them are Limousine Liberals… The basic agreement between Obama and the Limousine Liberals is that the Federal Reserves will print 85 billions dollars a month to buy their junk mortgage bonds so in return Wall Street will keep this fake high value market in order to give the impression that the economy is doing fine when the opposite is true.. Under Obama the middle class is hurt the most and the Limousine Liberals have made more money than anyone else in the history of the world…

mnjg on December 2, 2013 at 10:31 AM

These stores nned to go back to the old way of attracting
customers…..offer up a set of Ginsu Knives with every purchase

They can slice Apples…then be used on Firewood…

ToddPA on December 2, 2013 at 10:21 AM

If anyone’s interested…

22044 on December 2, 2013 at 10:32 AM

libfreeordie on December 2, 2013 at 10:10 AM

Wow, your ignorance of how the economy works is breathtaking. Since when do investors raise/lower wages? Could you please define investment class? What is the criteria or set of parameters required to be in this “class”? I invest and I’m not named Buffett. I’ve come to the conclusion that you are just a basic troll stirring up commentary from the group. You don’t actually contribute anything. Gee, does that make you a part of the “taker” class?

HomeoftheBrave on December 2, 2013 at 10:32 AM

Really? Is that the best you have? Its Obama’s fault for implicitly backing QE by allowing Bush appointee Ben Bernanke to keep his job? And has nothing to do with the economic blackmail conducted by Wall Street or isn’t the result of the influence of conomic theories which have argued for upward distribution as the best means to plan the economy for the last 30 years? You’re right. Obama invented quantitative easing and absolutely is its strongest intellectual backer.

libfreeordie on December 2, 2013 at 10:29 AM

You lie again… QE started in late 2009 under Obama… It was very clear that the Limousine Liberals who control Wall Street made their pact with Obama… Give them 85 billions a month in printed money and they will give him a fake high value markets…

mnjg on December 2, 2013 at 10:33 AM

Happy Nomad on December 2, 2013 at 10:22 AM

Or, think of it this way. Millions of LIVs just woke up to the fact that their president is a lying sack of sh!t, leaving them in part depressed and in part worried about what else he’s been lying to them about, particularly as to the economy.

TXUS on December 2, 2013 at 10:33 AM

Its Obama’s fault for implicitly backing QE by allowing Bush appointee Ben Bernanke to keep his job?

libfreeordie on December 2, 2013 at 10:29 AM

Agreed, someone else was Preznit at the time Preznit Dog Eater allowed Bernanke to keep his job.

This is another classic remark of yours, surely a keeper for future use.

Bishop on December 2, 2013 at 10:33 AM

…or it could be that Christmas shopping money is going towards new health care policies with 2X to 3X the premium payments.

jon1979 on December 2, 2013 at 10:19 AM

*eyeroll* things based in evidence please. You would have to prove that a majority of American consumers have received higher bills for healthcare, and you can’t.

How exactly does the investment class raise wages anyway? I have some investment in Motorola and over the last 35 years of that investment I never recall being asked if as an investor I would like to increase the wages of the workers.

I think I understand how you were trying to slam trickle down but you did a really poor job at it.

Dr. Frank Enstine on December 2, 2013 at 10:21 AM

The investment class does not wage raises, but they do make demands that make wage growth very difficult. Oh and, I’m sorry…but you’re not part of the real investment class. We’re talking about those investors who are able to demand that not only must a corporation’s profits increase each year, their profit margin must increase every year. A demand, which is actually impossible. Anyone in a corporate job is already familiar with a set of “plans” or “sales goals” that every single person in the corporation knows can not be done, but have been demanded by Wall Street investors who want to see ever increasing profit margins. And how have large corporations met those demands? By first slashing pensions, then slashing benefits and now refusing to raise wages. You simply can not blame that on the government. But its Obama or something.

libfreeordie on December 2, 2013 at 10:35 AM

Could it be because of the Fed’s QE policy, which Obama implicitly backs?

Doomberg on December 2, 2013 at 10:24 AM

Oh good Lord! Talking economic theory with a stupid idiot like libfree is akin to the task handed to Sisyphus. Except with libfree the issue isn’t so much ending up at the same point as it is dealing with the usual squirrel in a hailstorm distraction that it uses to deflect from a clear understanding of economic theory.

Happy Nomad on December 2, 2013 at 10:37 AM

libfree still blaming Bush…so five years ago little girl

DanMan on December 2, 2013 at 10:37 AM

Seriously, I just think that people are so uncertain about the future (obamacare, lousy job outlook, lack of faith in government, a lazy shiftless socialist in the White House, etc.) that they just don’t feel like spending big this year.

Happy Nomad on December 2, 2013 at 10:22 AM

Bingo!

obladioblada on December 2, 2013 at 10:38 AM

And how have large corporations met those demands? By first slashing pensions, then slashing benefits and now refusing to raise wages. You simply can not blame that on the government. But its Obama or something.

libfreeordie on December 2, 2013 at 10:35 AM

“You didn’t build that!”

So yeah, it’s government’s fault.

Bishop on December 2, 2013 at 10:38 AM


Anyone in a corporate job is already familiar with a set of “plans” or “sales goals” that every single person in the corporation knows can not be done, but have been demanded by Wall Street investors who want to see ever increasing profit margins. And how have large corporations met those demands? By first slashing pensions, then slashing benefits and now refusing to raise wages. You simply can not blame that on the government. But its Obama or something.

libfreeordie on December 2, 2013 at 10:35 AM

You should stick to areas you might know about. Based on your previous posts over the many months, I do not see any indication that you have even the faintest clue as to what a “corporate job” is.

HomeoftheBrave on December 2, 2013 at 10:39 AM

It would be hilarious if it wasn’t so tragic and stupid. The sodomite understands so little.

Murphy9 on December 2, 2013 at 10:39 AM

Or, think of it this way. Millions of LIVs just woke up to the fact that their president is a lying sack of sh!t, leaving them in part depressed and in part worried about what else he’s been lying to them about, particularly as to the economy.

TXUS on December 2, 2013 at 10:33 AM

That’s a charitable outlook. I think it more likely that they woke up to the fact that the lazy shiftless coward is a liar. It leaves them in part depressed and in part worried that they won’t be getting the free stuff that they were promised.

Happy Nomad on December 2, 2013 at 10:39 AM

Under trickle down economic theory the massive growth in corporate profits and major gains on Wall Street in the last few years should have inspired the investment class to increase wages. Instead, real wages have declined in the face of inflation. And then people wonder why consumer spending may be lower.

libfreeordie on December 2, 2013 at 10:10 AM

It is your messiahs actions that are preventing wages from growing.

Wages are set based on a few factors.

One is the supply of labor, which today is at the highest level since Jimmy Carter and headed towards the pre women in the workforce levels. All thanks to Obama and Democrats in congress, and no others fault at all.
Two is the demand for workers. There is no demand for additional workers, here again, this is because of Obama and the Democrats in congress. They have made the cost of employing someone no longer profitable and have made the ridiculous idea of parking money the method of making massively huge profits. All that money sidelined is money not hiring workers to create wealth. Instead what you have is redistribution from the bottom to the top. Thanks OBAMA and Harry Reid!
Three is how much wealth workers can produce. They will not be paid more than the produce in wages, and in fact must be paid far less because of all the taxes, regulations, and mandates placed on employers. Thus, while some workers are increasing productivity, government is eating their wage increases through taxes, regulations, mandates and do not forget the fed target rate of inflation floor of 2.5%. Which excludes food, energy, medical and housing, the largest expenses for a family which seem to increase far faster than the supposed inflation rate.

All those lib free lunches are making you die!

astonerii on December 2, 2013 at 10:39 AM

You simply can not blame that on the government.

libfreeordie on December 2, 2013 at 10:35 AM

rogerb, here’s another one for the record vault of lunacy

DanMan on December 2, 2013 at 10:40 AM

You should stick to areas you might know about. Based on your previous posts over the many months, I do not see any indication that you have even the faintest clue as to what a “corporate job” is.

HomeoftheBrave on December 2, 2013 at 10:39 AM

Libfree considers anything that supports the collective to be a corporate job. Any private enterprise in inherenty evil and must be destroyed for the common good.

Happy Nomad on December 2, 2013 at 10:42 AM

libfreeordie on December 2, 2013 at 10:10 AM

And by the way – wages are an exchange of value, a mutual consideration – between an employer and an employee. If there is no exchange of value, there is no wage. Raising wages to make things “fair” adds no value for the employer or the customer to be served. So the wage increase becomes a “freebie” for the employee. Anything given for free creates no perceived value. The LIV population (that includes you) loves free stuff because they perceive no value and provide none, as well.

HomeoftheBrave on December 2, 2013 at 10:43 AM

Cool, you learn something new every day at Hot Air.

i.e. that the stockholders/investors in companies are in charge of hiring people. I think I’ll call Apple and tell them to hire my brother in law. He’s been out of work for over a year thanks to obama’s poor stewardship of the economy and he doesn’t have any extra money to pay for his increased health insurance costs much less any Christmas presents for me.

And it’s sad that the President of the United Stezzy has no authority on who he can hire and fire and apparently has no input on the policies his direct reports implement. Shocking! At least Bernanke and Sebelius can rest easy at night.

Oh and learned we have had massive growth in corporate profits. Gee i wonder if the fact that the companies that make up the S&P 500 are completely different in 2013 than they were in 1965? or 1975?

HumpBot Salvation on December 2, 2013 at 10:44 AM

Get rid of the autoplay video, it doesn’t even contain anything related to the page.

nobar on December 2, 2013 at 10:45 AM

*correction, it skips to new videos that contain nothing related.

nobar on December 2, 2013 at 10:47 AM

And it’s sad that the President of the United Stezzy has no authority on who he can hire and fire and apparently has no input on the policies his direct reports implement. Shocking! At least Bernanke and Sebelius can rest easy at night.

In the thread above this one it talks of demorats who think Dog Eater should fire some people. Apparently they are unaware that a Preznit has no authority to do such a thing.

Bishop on December 2, 2013 at 10:47 AM

ROFL at those savages going crazy for a POS Chinese tv that won’t even work 6 months from now.

I swear you could bring out a pallet of dirty skivvies collected from inmates of a Guatemalan prison and those chuckleheads would stampede one another to get a pair.

Bishop on December 2, 2013 at 10:15 AM

It’s pretty disgusting. I think many of us are being turned off by this kind of Thunderdome Consumerism that peaks around our holiest of days.

Good riddance.

Punchenko on December 2, 2013 at 10:49 AM

I bought nothing on Black Friday. Nothing. In fact, we’re not exchanging gifts this year. Saturday the Walmart here wasn’t busy at all, and I was the only person in line at the pharmacy so I got my refills and went after one other thing and there wasn’t a line at most of the registers in the store, either. The clerk said it was like that on Thursday and Friday too.

scalleywag on December 2, 2013 at 10:50 AM

Under trickle down economic theory the massive growth in corporate profits and major gains on Wall Street in the last few years should have inspired the investment class to increase wages. Instead, real wages have declined in the face of inflation. And then people wonder why consumer spending may be lower.

libfreeordie

And how much would those wages have increased if only Wall Street and corporate profits were down instead?

In the real world, there are no absolutes(except for the ignorance of liberals). Even non-smokers and healthy eaters get lung cancer. That doesn’t mean we should all say “fvck it” and become chain smoking gluttons.

xblade on December 2, 2013 at 10:54 AM

Under trickle down economic theory the massive growth in corporate profits and major gains on Wall Street in the last few years should have inspired the investment class to increase wages. Instead, real wages have declined in the face of inflation. And then people wonder why consumer spending may be lower.

libfreeordie on December 2, 2013 at 10:10 AM

If you want to try the desperate “Obama is failing because he’s a closet Republican” nonsense, kindly look up trickle down economics first.

It doesn’t involve 2 big tax hikes on the rich, temporary tax cuts on the poor, massive increases in welfare transfer payment spending and a multi-trillion dollar wealth redistribution scheme like ObamaCare.

But nice try.

Chuck Schick on December 2, 2013 at 11:01 AM

*eyeroll* things based in evidence please. You would have to prove that a majority of American consumers have received higher bills for healthcare, and you can’t.

libfreeordie on December 2, 2013 at 10:35 AM

*headshake* People have been told for the better part of a third of a century by Democrats and their big media BFFs that they’re just one-paycheck away from being insolvent. In the past that’s been used to promote big government programs, but in this case it’s a big government program they’re hearing all about that involves cancellation of insurance policies and higher premiums.

People in the past didn’t have to lose their jobs to be convinced to be worried about losing their jobs. So what’s the big shock that people now are hearing about others facing higher insurance premiums and not deciding to be cautious about their own spending, with the specter of higher premiums for them looming in 2014?

jon1979 on December 2, 2013 at 11:02 AM

Our family has a rule for having modesty when exchanging gifts. So my shopping for that is pretty light, as well as buying a toy for my 1 year old nephew.

I was going to buy a few other things that I wanted, but just had to drop some good money to get my car fixed & serviced. And my heat pump might be due for some maintenance as well.

So I’m pretty much buying just the necessities this month, other than the gifts I mentioned above and a couple of giving commitments to nonprofits that I like.

22044 on December 2, 2013 at 11:02 AM

I heard the swarm of gun buyers at Cabelas and Gander were orderly and polite, and the guns were flying off the racks. I drove by there yesterday morning and Cabbies was packed to the gills.

Bishop on December 2, 2013 at 11:03 AM

Oh good Lord! Talking economic theory with a stupid idiot like libfree is akin to the task handed to Sisyphus. Except with libfree the issue isn’t so much ending up at the same point as it is dealing with the usual squirrel in a hailstorm distraction that it uses to deflect from a clear understanding of economic theory.

Happy Nomad on December 2, 2013 at 10:37 AM

He admitted a few weeks ago that he knows nothing about finance and economics, but makes a dynamite meatloaf. Yet here he is again, trolling.

slickwillie2001 on December 2, 2013 at 11:03 AM

isn’t the result of the influence of conomic theories which have argued for upward distribution as the best means to plan the economy for the last 30 years? You’re right. Obama invented quantitative easing and absolutely is its strongest intellectual backer.

libfreeordie

I’m pretty sure the only economic theories that call for “distribution” of wealth are the ones you embrace.

xblade on December 2, 2013 at 11:03 AM

Anticipation of increasing monthly health insurance premiums have people saving money (and saving for ridiculous deductibles) rather than spending? Could be…….

iurockhead on December 2, 2013 at 10:18 AM

YES! You cannot take a massive chunk of capital out of the private economy through health insurance hikes and not expect hits on all other spending, especially discretionary spending like Christmas gifts.

Look for other hits to the economy too, like car sales, hard goods, vacations, even deferred maintenance.

slickwillie2001 on December 2, 2013 at 11:08 AM

Who couldn’t have predicted this? With so much uncertainty re: one’s health care insurance, some of us have been forced to put aside some cash to help pay for those ER visits – gunshot wounds and lacerations don’t heal themselves! Less cash = fewer purchases! :-)

ronco on December 2, 2013 at 11:09 AM

The Mall of America has banned him for the next year.

I don’t see the downside here.

Hat Trick on December 2, 2013 at 11:14 AM

The Mall of America has banned him for the next year.

I don’t see the downside here.

Hat Trick on December 2, 2013 at 11:14 AM

One less whitey for the diminutive Hmong gang-bangers to try and intimidate.

Why do you hate Asians, racist?

Bishop on December 2, 2013 at 11:17 AM

Was I hearing a lot of Spanish on that video?
Well, one thing that didn’t help anyone was moving the sales to Thanksgiving. You just excluded and confused many of your customers.

People plan for Thanksgiving in advance. Families make travel plans and so forth.. and then at the last minute you find out that if you wanted to do black Friday shopping you had to do it during your holiday time with families. So then.. if you didn’t go.. you figured all the deals were gone and there was no point in shopping on Friday.

This is basic sales. You don’t screw with the basics. You don’t confuse your customer base. Black Friday is as much a tradition today as any other holiday.. so who had the bright idea to blur the lines and try to blend it with a competing holiday! Thanksgiving is a “stay at home with family” day. Black friday is a “run wild with the mob” shopping day! You don’t have your “Black Friday” on Thursday evening at the last minute and think you are going to expand you customer base when Thursday is already taken as a holiday time for families to be together. There is no way in the world you are going to expand your sales. This was stupid.

JellyToast on December 2, 2013 at 11:19 AM

…or it could be that Christmas shopping money is going towards new health care policies with 2X to 3X the premium payments.

jon1979 on December 2, 2013 at 10:19 AM

I’ve wondered the same. My home state (NC) got hit good and hard,
and in my shop, sales have been down since the beginning of October when all those insurance notices started arriving.
Coincidence?

lynncgb on December 2, 2013 at 11:21 AM

Stay outta Wal-Mart on Knee Grow Friday…

Galtian on December 2, 2013 at 11:25 AM

Under trickle down economic theory the massive growth in corporate profits and major gains on Wall Street in the last few years should have inspired the investment class to increase wages. Instead, real wages have declined in the face of inflation. And then people wonder why consumer spending may be lower.

libfreeordie on December 2, 2013 at 10:10 AM

Wages don’t rise because compassion for workers makes the rich guilty and make them want to pay more. That’s just a liberal fantasy that never, ever, ever, EVER works.

The only way to increase wages is to increase the competition for quality workers. Quality workers are worth MUCH more than mediocre or minimum skill workers.

But the only way to get competition for workers to increase is to increase the number of jobs. And the only way that happens is to get socialist idiots (like yourself) away from the levers of power. Increasing jobs means reducing government regulations that slow and stifle job creation, getting government to stop blocking jobs (like the Keystone Pipeline, which by itself would add 20,000 jobs), and stop penalizing success by overtaxing and thus allow businesses to re-invest that money in growing their business

By the way, how do you create skilled workers without compensating them and allowing them to keep their success? Why should they work harder if the government requires they all be treated the same (minimum wage)?

THAT is the way to increase wages… by increasing jobs… by allowing them to enjoy their success… and decreasing government interference… Why do liberals hate successful people and companies, and constantly use words to inflame hatred against being successful?

But some people prefer their obsolete, unproven socialist ideological fantasy to reality. Grow up and educate yourself. Then you might be taken seriously here.

dominigan on December 2, 2013 at 11:26 AM

I’ve wondered the same. My home state (NC) got hit good and hard,
and in my shop, sales have been down since the beginning of October when all those insurance notices started arriving.
Coincidence?

lynncgb on December 2, 2013 at 11:21 AM

I got my cancellation notice in late September from Blue Cross, and thanks to the healthcare.gov fiasco, got a notice last week of a three-month extension on my current plan, which means I’m covered until March 31 instead of Dec. 31, as long as I pay the next three-month premium. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to plan ahead financially for what I may have to pay come (fittingly enough) April Fool’s Day, and I’m sure others are doing the same — you don’t completely cut out Christmas buying, but at the same time, you make sure you’ve got enough income to pay the bills in January-March and still have $$$ left over to pay for the new health care plan in April).

jon1979 on December 2, 2013 at 11:28 AM

Under trickle down economic theory the massive growth in corporate profits and major gains on Wall Street in the last few years should have inspired the investment class to increase wages. Instead, real wages have declined in the face of inflation. And then people wonder why consumer spending may be lower.

libfreeordie on December 2, 2013 at 10:10 AM

You fail to understand “trickle down (TD).” TD means if you leave money in the hands of people they will create economic opportunity.

Some examples:

How about that very expensive cell phone brick that Gordon Gecko used to make telephone calls from. That expensive toy used by he nasty rich has created an enormous number of job both in the US and around the globe. And now the simple Obama phone not only makes phone calls for the “fortunate” poor but takes photos and gives GPS directions.

How about that automatic transmission in your car. In the not too distant past it was a luxury that only the nasty rich could afford. But look around any small town and count the number of transmission repair business and consider the fact that now the automatic transmission is now the standard package. If you want a manual tranny you need to special order the package.

Next the air conditioning that you take for granted.

Money must be left in the hands of people, especially the upper middle class. Corporate profits have little to do with TD.

wukong on December 2, 2013 at 11:41 AM

I got my cancellation notice in late September

jon1979 on December 2, 2013 at 11:28 AM

Same here. BC/BS in NC is allowing me to get my plan back for another year-still waiting for the new rate- but I know I’m still probably getting hit with another 15-25% increase.
My own shopping has been curtailed for years and will remain so.

lynncgb on December 2, 2013 at 11:44 AM

Under trickle down economic theory … And then people wonder why consumer spending may be lower.

libfreeordie on December 2, 2013 at 10:10 AM

As consumer spending is by nature Trickle down according to you consumers are doing the right thing by saving their money. Thus the nations wealth has increased by lower spending. Corporate profits will be down with less spending. I assume this is what you want.

Makes no economic sense to me but you seem to be complaining about being successful.

CW20 on December 2, 2013 at 11:46 AM

The NRF was predicting that this shopping season, sales would increase 3.9% compared to last year.

This despite continued signs of a stagnant economy that is struggling in a “recovery” because of the economic policies of the Obama Administration. Consumer confidence continues to fall – and now with concerns about health insurance and its costs impacting millions courtesy of the EpicClusterFark, there are even more downward pressures on the spending habits of a large number of Americans.

Wishing for a robust holiday shopping season is like hoping, now 5 years into the ‘recovery’ of a robust economy with 5%+ GDP growth and <6% unemployment. It ain't happening until we change course.

As much as the progressive fascists would like it not to be so, the laws of economics and human nature remain inviolable.

Athos on December 2, 2013 at 11:52 AM

sales in brick-and-mortar stores fell 2.9% over 2012

Quite simply: Most people have maxed out their credit cards.

And they can’t just print more money like the fiat thieves in D.C. do when they want to spend, spend spend.

LegendHasIt on December 2, 2013 at 11:55 AM

You should stick to areas you might know about…..
HomeoftheBrave on December 2, 2013 at 10:39 AM

Then the Perfesser could rarely comment at Hot Air.
There are so few threads about the ‘Chocolate Rainbow Movement’ here.

LegendHasIt on December 2, 2013 at 12:02 PM

In this “recovery”, cash (and credit) is in very short supply.
A lot of foot-traffic looking for deals they could afford, and with an uncertain year ahead, few were willing to go “all in”.

Another Drew on December 2, 2013 at 12:43 PM

IMHO there were less super deals this year aside from electronics, and toys

Retailers got killed in apparel over the the last year, and they buy ahead. A decision was made pretty much everywhere to cut their losses. They didn’t give away the store this time.

The discount stores cut back on quality in apparel, but did not price apparel obscenely low, despite the nasty quality. Saw a lot of 10 dollar brand X small appliances that would cost you 10 bucks at the drug store coupon sale.

Another thing they didnt bother with this year were surprise items. Buy-Bait like a fabulous gift set of anything, for under 7 bucks. I think they made a mistake. Euphoria pushes people into spend mode. People were running to the TV’s and tablets and then running out the store

I believe sales are darker than announced. Walmart is moving towards storing inventory from their smaller stores in their super center backrooms. This allows them to close some warehouses. It also gives them cover for shrinking sales of junk in supercenters, as the new warehousing might allow them to reduce floor space in the super centers without admitting they don’t need as much floorspace anymore

entagor on December 2, 2013 at 1:03 PM

With all the uncertainty, it would be difficult for people to spend like they may have done in the past.

Uncertainty over the health insurance “problem”, possibility of increased taxes, economic decline, the zero interest policy, all contribute to people, both on the spending side and on the investing side.

The future look uncertain so I better be careful about what I spend or invest does not produce freely or freer spending on the part of consumers, and likewise it does not produce greater investment on the part of businesses and those who might try to start or expand their business.

And it is expected that with all that that the Christmas spending is going to stay anything like normal especially as the prospect of dislocation through PPACA (and its collateral impacts) is now much more real than before?

Russ808 on December 2, 2013 at 1:27 PM

You’re spot on, but your economics lesson is wasted on libfreeordie. He doesn’t even understand basic supply and demand.

blink on December 2, 2013 at 11:54 AM

Wait… isn’t libfreeordie some sort of self-proclaimed professor?

Sorry if I offend anyone, but I’ve usually found academics to be the biggest bunch of no-nothing BS’s around. I once worked with a Computer Science professor who decided to run the IT project our consulting company was awarded. In addition to being a part-time professor in CS, he was also the CIO for this medium-sized company. He ended up f*ing up the architecture so bad, it resulted in a year of development overrun costing more than a $1 million dollars. Ultimately, it bankrupted the medium-sized business that was depending on this project.

If libfreeordie really is a professor like he claims, it would explain his absolute ignorance of how the real world runs!

dominigan on December 2, 2013 at 1:30 PM

sales in brick-and-mortar stores fell 2.9% over 2012

That doesn’t count real inflation. Add that and it may be pushing -10%.

CW20 on December 2, 2013 at 1:59 PM

Give them 85 billions a month in printed money and they will give him a fake high value markets…

mnjg on December 2, 2013 at 10:33 AM

What scares me is when the fake high value market suddenly turns into a real low value market. We are in for a real fundamental transformation then.

tdarrington on December 2, 2013 at 2:06 PM

Stay outta Wal-Mart on Knee Grow Friday…

Galtian on December 2, 2013 at 11:25 AM

Progressive racism is not tolerated here. I don’t support banning for differing opinions, but when a prog comes here and sews his racist hate, is should be his last time.

Besides, I thought you progs stayed out of walmart every day because it is run by billionaires who pay their employees peanuts or something.

tdarrington on December 2, 2013 at 2:15 PM

A few factors contributed to the decline in spending this year, the federation said in a call with reporters on Sunday: One is that consumers report they expect to have tight budgets this year, despite a recovering economy.

If we really had a “recovering economy” for this long, it would have finished recovering by now.

We have a stagnant economy. Just like the Great Depression.

And what good does it do the typical middle class family if the economy upticks by 1.7%, but the improvement is all lost in inflation, while medical insurance premiums jump up by a couple hundred dollars a month?

It comes to this: consumers are smarter than the media, and know their budgets will probably be tight this year.

There Goes the Neighborhood on December 2, 2013 at 2:25 PM

Under trickle down economic theory the massive growth in corporate profits and major gains on Wall Street in the last few years should have inspired the investment class to increase wages. Instead, real wages have declined in the face of inflation. And then people wonder why consumer spending may be lower.

libfreeordie on December 2, 2013 at 10:10 AM

Your conclusion is worthless because your initial assertion is wrong. That leads to seeing contradictions where they don’t exist, like the classic, “How can crime rates be lower when the prisons are full?”

There Goes the Neighborhood on December 2, 2013 at 2:40 PM

Vorobyov said he’s going through a divorce, lost his car hauling business and hoped the positivity of throwing the money would come back to him.

“I wanted to do some sort of pay it forward kind of thing,” Vorobyov said Sunday.

Very twisted thought process. He’s doing something in hopes of getting a bigger return. Not because he actually wants to help other people. He’s only thinking of himself in the situation.

I bet he prays really loud in the middle of the temple too.

ButterflyDragon on December 2, 2013 at 2:41 PM

“Thank you, President Obama!”

OK, Libs, let’s hear it…didn’t think so.

Dr. ZhivBlago on December 2, 2013 at 3:20 PM

Bush. Can I go home now?

libfreeordie on December 2, 2013 at 10:29 AM

Del Dolemonte on December 2, 2013 at 6:00 PM

One good aspect of the fact that deals on Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have sucked – I have lots of money left over to contribute to MATT BEVIN and his campaign to throw out mcconnell.

TeaPartyNation on December 2, 2013 at 6:24 PM