Good work consumers, you spent $10.3 billion on Black Friday – an 8.3% increase from last year. Degree-holding pessimists forecast that sales would rise only 4 to 5 percent. [AP]

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  1. mopar_man says:

    People are ridiculous. I went to Menard’s on Friday and one lady had 2 (yes, two) overfilled shopping carts full of misc. junk. I think I spent a grand total of $400 this year, $300 more than I usually spend after Thanksgiving. The only reason I went overboard this year was because I had some more money to spend than in other years.

  2. DallasDMD says:

    This is supposed to be a good thing?

  3. Hamm Beerger says:

    @DallasDMD: Yes.

  4. homerjay says:

    @DallasDMD: For the economy, yes. For humanity- not so much.

  5. rachaeljean says:

    I’ll admit, I couldn’t resist. After being stuck home with my family since Wednesday, I was feeling cabin-fevery. I went to the mall an hour before it closed and got a candle 25% off from Hallmark, then hit up Wal-Mart for a $2 DVD.

    At least I only spent less than $30 though, which is some consolation!

  6. DallasDMD says:

    I saved my money instead. Does that make me a bad person for not supporting the economy with purchases?

  7. Scuba Steve says:

    I spent $13,986 this black friday.

    I’ve just begun…

  8. timmus says:

    So… uh, the economy is good and the credit pinch is gone? WTF?

  9. el_gordo says:

    @DallasDMD: No, it does not. The wisest of us purchase only what is truly needed. I also stayed away from all shopping this weekend. I could have bought a Macbook Pro for myself, as I really really want one. Apple was giving $100 off this weekend. We abstained, and now our hands are clean of that dreadful black ink.

  10. itmustbeken says:

    Great, and next year the hype around this will be even worse.

    Our family met the day after Thanksgiving and decided to cut our usual holiday spending by 80%.
    KMA US economy!

  11. ShadowFalls says:

    It is not a suprise. Inflation plays a big role in alot of this. Costs of various products have increased, not to mention video games and the new Hi-Def formats. Expensive things will ofcourse make people spend more money, people only spend more since the deals were not all that great.

  12. overbysara says:

    my present rule this year: I must buy gifts from a small or locally-owned business. for example: etsy.com, the shops here where I live, or a merchant on ebay.

  13. homerjay says:

    @DallasDMD: nope, that makes you personally fiscally responsible and as long as you’re not stuffing it in your mattress, also a benefit to the economy- but if I remember economics 101 many moons ago, to a lesser extent. :)

  14. catnapped says:

    @ShadowFalls: HMM–that’s a really good point. Did they adjust for inflation? My guess would be no (can’t have the sheep thinking the economy is anything but rosy–until next election day, of course)

  15. alceste says:

    I’ve heard rumors that K-Mart/Sears opened the floodgates on all their credit card applications for Black Friday, approving very nearly everyone in a “special promotion.” That’s a very frightening way to move merchandise. Anyone visit one Friday? And did you see an awful of people shopping on “instant credit?”

  16. Hamm Beerger says:

    @DallasDMD: No.

  17. Hamm Beerger says:

    @homerjay: If it’s good for the economy, it’s good for humanity.

    People selling things got money, which is what they wanted. People buying things got stuff (for less money than usual), which is what they wanted. DallasDMD saved his money and gets to smugly broadcast his superiority to us. I get to snarkily (and a bit over-righteously, I’ll admit) point out his smugness.

    So tell me how humanity loses?

  18. Shoptrak uses video interpolation to count bodies, not sold bags full of booty. all this means is foot traffic was up. it doesn’t mean squat to profitability, and neither does blowing out cheap door-buster TV sets and laptops for large losses.

    we haven’t yet seen hard numbers on actual dollar volume.

  19. XTC46 says:

    @el_gordo: But the question is, will you now go an buy that mac book at full price later? If so, you just lost 100 bucks, and apple gets 100. Seems pretty pointless.

    My boss did something similar. He was looking at getting new phones for a few of the senior management teams. Sprint offered him the phone he wanted for $99 a piece instead of the usual 349 becasue they wanted to meet a sales goal and it was the last day of the sales period for them. He refused on principle saying he didn’t like their sales technique then went and bought the phones from sprint a month later for 299 a piece. So he feels good that he didn’t given into their sales pitch but wasted a significant amount of money and still bought from the company who he was morally opposed to. Its like having short term morals.

  20. fredmertz says:

    Last year, Black Friday was great and all the press releases trumpeted that fact. Of course, nobody mentioned that Saturday and Sunday were pretty much a disaster, on the way to an OK season. Also, great numbers on Black Friday could be a bad omen — an omen that says customers are only going to shop for things on steep discounts.

  21. etinterrapax says:

    Meh. We’ll see. It’s a long time until Christmas–a good Black Friday, assuming we even had one, is that and nothing more. We’ll need longer-term gains before it matters, but the press won’t tell you that, and it’s no secret that Americans have trouble thinking in the long term.

  22. iamme99 says:

    It’s not the quantity of what was purchased that matters, it’s the profit margin. The question is, how much profit did the sellers make?

    I was in my local Costco about 1 hour prior to closing on Saturday. It was fairly empty and the lines only had maybe 3 people in each.

  23. iamme99 says:

    Furthermore, just saw this article on the NY Times:
    [www.nytimes.com]

    Excerpt:
    But shoppers did not splurge, spending an estimated $348 each over the holiday weekend, down from $360 last year, a survey conducted for the National Retail Federation found.

    “American consumers are trying to outsmart the stores and wait for desperation discounts,” said Burt Flickinger, a retail consultant.

    Retailers’ performance over the Thanksgiving weekend is closely watched because it accounts for up to 8 percent, or roughly $40 billion, of all holiday sales, which are expected to reach $475 billion this year, according to the National Retail Federation, the industry trade group.

    Over all, retail sales growth this season is predicted to be the weakest since 2002, with spending pinched by rising energy costs, falling home prices and a tight credit market.

    As expected, cost-conscious consumers favored discount chains over costlier stores this weekend, according to the survey, conducted by BIGresearch.

    Of those surveyed, 55 percent said they had shopped at bargain chains like Wal-Mart and Target, up from 50 percent last year. The percentage who made a purchase at traditional department stores, like Macy’s, fell slightly.

  24. goller321 says:

    @JIM THOME’S SELF-CLEANING OVEN:

    No it isn’t good for humanity. Just like the moronic subprime mess we have gotten into, people…Americans, are spending from credit. This is not a good thing for anyone. Savings drive the economy, spending cannot sustain the economy. So this is neither good for the economy(in the long run) nor for humanity- wasting resources, and driving the US into further debt.

  25. spinachdip says:

    @iamme99: Yup, it doesn’t matter if revenues are up if profits are down.

    I haven’t looked at the numbers yet, but because of the downward forecasts, stores are offering steeper discounts than last year. So it wouldn’t surprise me if the 8% increase is inflated by the depressed profit margins.

  26. XTC46 says:

    @spinachdip: Our company did the opposite of most stores. Our revenue is down like 12% but profit dollars are up about %7 becasue we stopped giving huge discounts on stuff.

  27. rachaeljean says:

    @xtc46:
    What company do you work for?

  28. spinachdip says:

    @xtc46: You know, the more I read about financial trends, business models and consumer behavior, the more I find myself agreeing with the saying, there are no winners in price wars. And I think your comment, along with this story, is another indicator.

    Not to be Debbie Downer, but focusing on an increase on a day when consumers were looking for ridiculous discounts is basically asking, “Other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?” The dollar sucks, the liquidity trap isn’t going anywhere and consumer confidence is still shit.

  29. iamme99 says:

    Yeah, if you give discounts all the time, then people recognize this and they become meaningless. For instance, virtually every week of the year, Mervyn’s has a 50-70% off sale [lol].

  30. synergy says:

    @etinterrapax: You beat me to it. I was thinking that a lot of people may have been buying on Black Friday because that’s when they were going to get the most out of their money and now less people will buy throughout the rest of the season.

    We’ll see once the quarter ends what actually happened. Oh and I agree that the money spent needs to be adjusted for inflation. My Costa Rican co-worker just told me that for the first time in several decades the dollar is lower than the Costa Rican currency, Colones. If that doesn’t say something, I don’t know what does.

  31. Rusted says:

    @DallasDMD: Nah, just spend another day.