Ed Morrissey may be off pursuing his new career as a pirate on the high seas, but that didn’t stop his new column at the Fiscal Times from going to press today. In it, he discusses the turnout of shoppers on Black Friday and what that means for Occupy Wall Street.. not only in terms of how much their message is failing to resonate with middle America, but their efforts to thwart the evil chain stores from profiting.
Even those who support free markets and more laissez-faire regulatory policies can’t help but feel disdain for this display of naked, aggressive avarice – and I’m not talking about the customers. Store opening times on Black Friday have crept back over the past several years, but they have usually remained on Friday.
Small wonder, then, that the current popular manifestation of anti-corporate sentiment seized on Black Friday as a day of action. Occupy protests around the nation targeted large retail stores in an effort to interfere with sales on Friday. In San Francisco, for instance, protestors blocked the entrance to an Apple store and proclaimed the retail location “closed” – and enforced that closure until police arrived to break up the demonstration.
So how did that work out for the protesters? As it happens, not so well.
Despite the incivility and the protests, despite the moribund economy, Black Friday looks like a knockout – for retailers who had their best Black Friday since the recession started, growing sales by 7 percent year over year. Foot traffic rose 5.1 percent at retail locations, which means that people were hardly discouraged from venturing into the maelstrom of aggressive marketing and protests. The sales growth was the best the retail sector has seen since 2007’s 8.3 percent year-on-year improvement, and the one-day haul of $11.4 billion is the best on record.
The analysis goes on for quite a bit further and it’s a good one. So while Ed is out there on the ocean hoisting a drink with an umbrella in it, take a moment and stop by at the link to read the entire article.