A Dismal Retail Season. Only $10 Billion More Than Last Year.

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.

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6 Responses to A Dismal Retail Season. Only $10 Billion More Than Last Year.

  1. Plumb Bob says:

    I’m confused. Seriously. Is there any evidence of the economic meltdown, aside from the failures of the investment banks who invested in bad mortgages? Are we actually being snookered? By whom, and why?

  2. bill-tb says:

    In our city, which is heavily tourist dependent, the crowds were way way down. But the happy side is it allowed me to find a TV for the daughter at a killer price.

    The frazzled local clerks were standing in a line as you went into the stores, hoping someone would ask them a question … By noon, even our local Walmart had switched their store back to ‘normal’ and thinned the herd of clerks.

  3. Rich Horton says:

    You know what sort of headlines we will get if there is a 2.2% sales increase next year?

    OBAMA SAVES CHRISTMAS!

  4. Gaius says:

    Well of course that will be the narrative from the media. Just as the 5% unemployment rate under Bush for most of his Presidency was “dismal”.

  5. martian says:

    The economy is “dismal” according to the media because that is what they WANT it to be. I have become firmly convinced, after 8 years of them calling one of the most robust economies in decades with one of the lowest sustained unemployment rates in the same time frame terrible, that the media actually wants the economy to be bad so they have something to write about. If their reporting about the economy changes it will only be so they can attribute any upswing to Obama & company.

  6. Mwalimu Daudi says:

    You know what sort of headlines we will get if there is a 2.2% sales increase next year?

    I can only guess. When gas prices were rising this past summer the MSM told us that this was a catastrophe for the economy, and that the end was nigh. When gas prices fell to levels close to what they were at the start of the Bush administration MSM told us that this was a catastrophe for the economy, and that the end was nigh.

    And when gas hits $10 a gallon under the Obama regime the headlines will proclaim: EXPERTS SAY CHANGE IN OIL PRICES BENEFIT ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT.

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