Seriously. CNN is reporting that the National Retail Federation is expecting only a 2.2% increase in sales over last year. A mere $470 billion. CNN also reports that stores were mobbed today. (Unfortunately, those mobs include one that trampled a man to death as they rushed headlong into a Wal-Mart to buy gifts and two people shot in a Toys-R-Us store.)
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Black Friday appeared to start strong this year, but analysts warned that the robust start to the critical holiday shopping period could fade as the weekend progressed.
“[Shoppers] know exactly what they want, where to shop for it and who has the best deals,” said Britt Beemer, retail analyst and chairman of America’s Research Group.
Based on this trend, the big difference this year from years past is that Beemer doesn’t expect people will deviate from their shopping lists.
That’s a problem for merchants who depend just as much on the impulse buy as they do on consumers’ shopping lists to get them off to a flying start on Black Friday.
The “dismal” shopping season will only yield $10 billion more in sales than last year for retailers if the NRF is correct. I did not have a camera with me today when my wife and I ventured out to get a few food items and one Christmas gift for my youngest son. But there was a line of cars more than a quarter mile long waiting to turn into one large mall. Traffic near the malls was brutal, much worse than normal for this area.
At some point, people have got to realize they are not being told the truth. An increase, even a modest 2% one, is not a disaster or an economic meltdown. Could it be a better economy? Of course. Is it the next Great Depression? Not hardly.
Although I am getting greatly depressed reading some of the news today. Today, the media doom and gloom yielded tragic consequences for some people. That is depressing. Greatly. The two links to the Black Friday mayhem come via Memeorandum.