Shoppers Chill Out: Retail Sales Down 4.4% From Last Year

Reuters is reporting that retail sales are down 4.4 percent compared with same period a year ago.

“With three full weekends left before Christmas many consumers might be waiting until the last minute to wrap up their holiday spending,” said Bill Martin, co-founder of ShopperTrak, in a statement.

We love how shopping after December 5th is now “waiting until the last minute.” Get a grip.

After Black Friday, U.S. shoppers take a breather


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  1. realjen01 says:

    i consider dec. 24 “waiting until the last minute”. even so, that’s how i roll.

  2. HRHKingFriday says:

    Aside from the dirt cheap deals I got on Black Friday, I’m playing chicken with the rest of the smaller items. I’ll either wait until the retailers cry uncle, or (if they don’t) I’ll just get iTunes gift cards.

  3. swalve says:

    Sort of a meaningless number. Are people buying less stuff, or are prices lower? How does it break down per retail segment?

  4. parad0x360 says:

    While i do believe this report it doesnt hold true for every store. The Target I work in made about 300k more this year then last, and we had met last years total day sales by 11am this year.

  5. rouftop says:

    It’s shopping at the last minute if you’re Jewish! Chanukah started on the 5th.

    Mmmm, latkes and gelt.

  6. schiff says:

    With how bestbuy and circuit city have treated mein the last 2 days, I returned anything I got from them and bought it from amazon. BTW, bestbuy is not matching the website prices of in their westbury store.

  7. iamme99 says:

    FRY’s won’t match their online prices in their stores either.

    I am holding out for a new digital camera. I may wait until January to buy when I know the prices will be lower.

  8. purkinje says:

    Sure, and for the previous week (ending 11/24) sales were up 3.7% compared to same period a year ago. For Black Friday weekend, sales were up 6.5% compared with 2006. And the week before that (ending 11/17) sales were up 5.4% compared to the same period a year ago. Sales were down in October, up in September, and so on.

    The take-home message: it’s really not a good idea to try to describe a time series using a single data point.

  9. nutrigm says:

    I can’t say about others but being a retailer myself I found sales the past 2 months to be rather slow, however things seems to be picking up now. I can only hope it will get better as time goes by.

  10. ARP says:

    PURKINJE- Thanks for the additional context. My prediction is that sales will be up slightly from last year (not the 5% or so they usually predict). I think much of this is fueled by consumer debt (read: credit cards) as the Home Equity route has dried up for many. Sales at discount retailers (except Wal-Mart) and high-end stores will be up. The mid-range will get eaten alive. There will be the ocasional blip for popular brands (A&F, Hollister, etc.). After the Holidays, it’s anyone’s guess.

  11. theblackdog says:

    Oh I know my spending is down this Christmas since I kicked my deadbeat boyfriend to the curb a while back.

    It’s nice having money that you can spend on yourself any time :-D