Most Overhyped Black Friday In History A Dud? ShopperTrak Reports Just 0.3% Increase In Black Friday Sales Over 2009, Drop In Real Terms

Tyler Durden's picture

The shopping day that was supposed to signal the renaissance of the US consumer, and justify the massive overhiring by US retailers (not to mention the completely dislocated from reality surge in stock price for razor thin margin retailers like Amazon), is increasingly seeming to be a dud. WSJ reports, citing channel checker ShopperTrak, that "Black Friday sales rose only slightly from a year ago even though more
shoppers visited stores, retail traffic monitor ShopperTrak said
Saturday, setting the stage for another uncertain holiday season for
retailers. Sales increased 0.3% to $10.7 billion, according to ShopperTrak, which
installs monitoring devices in stores to gauge traffic. Traffic rose by
2.2%, ShopperTrak said." For the observant ones out there, this is in nominal terms: adjusted for inflation there was actually a drop in end sales. Even so, the primary reason for the disappointment is that Black Friday actually started early on in the month, with most retailers offering comparable loss-leading deals such as those seen on the Friday after the national holiday early in November, reducing the actual purchasing power for the all important day. "The smaller than expected increase is due in part to discounts offered
earlier in November as well as online-only promotions, ShopperTrak
founder Bill Martin said.
Traffic to stores was up over 6% for the first
two weeks of November, an early boost that could affect retailers'
performance in the coming weeks, he said." Last but not least it should also be noted that with millions of Americans living mortgage payment free for over 18 months now, and using money that should be going to banks (and nationalized GSEs) to instead purchase shoe closet 32 inch TVs, that sooner or later the bulk of American taxpayers who funded yet another top line (but certainly not margin) bonanza for the nation's retailers may soon say enough, and vote against further subsidies of zombie companies whose existence allows for continued US consumer "strength."

More from the WSJ:

"The reality is we have a deal-driven consumer in 2010," Mr. Martin said in a release. "The American shopper has adapted to the economic climate over the last couple of years and is possibly spending more wisely as the holiday season begins."

It is not all bad news: it turns out the conversion rate was higher as more Americans than last year, taking a clue from their leaders, have decided to buy now, and pay never:

In a somewhat more optimistic reading than ShopperTrak's, market research firm NPD Group Inc. said retailers did a better job this Black Friday in getting people who visited their stores to leave with something in the shopping bag. The so-called rate of conversion rose by 4% over the prior-year period, NPD said, with 95% of shoppers in stores making a purchase.

"Retailers did a better job of luring consumers in with big deals and great savings," Marshal Cohen, NPD Group's chief industry analyst, said in a release.

We hope to get more in-depth channel checks courtesy of our own expert network over the next day, but for the time being we are content that CNBC's producers are already huddling around a conference table 3 deep, coming up with ways to spin the disappointing sales data as favorable to the familiar teleprompter reading propaganda crew.

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doolittlegeorge's picture

Let's see..."My name is Seoul and I'm only 30 miles from...

Blaise Pascal's picture

Very disappointing, but unsurprising.

And this is as short a Christmas-shopping season as you can have.  Only three more full weekends before Christmas.

Fasten belts.

midtowng's picture

They hype each and every Black Friday weekend.

 The last couple years the first reports were about how retail buying was waaayyy up. Then a couple weeks later the news comes out that retail buying was actually down.

It happens every year.

johngaltfla's picture

This story helps to explain the after hours dump on Friday. Think about it. By noon the first reports available to insiders from Amex, Visa, and MC are available.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

I'm going to give some 1/10th oz Gold Eagles to some of my nephews and nieces.

Sorry, Macy's.

traderjoe's picture

Silver Maples for me. F*ck the banks and the b*llshit corporate/consumerism holiday created to sell more iCrap.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

We're spreading the concioussness, traderjoe, spreading the concioussness...

Problem Is's picture

Pandemonium at Local Coin Dealer for Black Friday
As the doors opened at 6am, silver buyers stampeded the counter to snap up inventory...

Black Friday silver sales are expected to hit a record kicking off this holiday season...

Back to you bitchez in the CNBC studio...

Dantzler's picture
Just as few days ago from Harvey's Organ: The usa mint revealed yesterday, a massive volume of sales so far this month equal to almost 3.8 million oz This is deadly to the bankers as the comex is not getting the silver it needs to satisfy long contracts. The USA produces around 40 million oz of silver per year out of the world's global production of 600 million-700 million oz. Silver is mainly produced as a bi-product as there are few purely silver producers. Demand for silver has been rising and at last count it is 900 million oz. Scrap silver and officially hidden China silver, balance the difference. The USA must use all of its domestic production in the minting of their silver eagle/silver commemoratives. If the mint continually has demand for 3.8 million oz this month,or 46 million oz for the year, then the USA must import silver from other sources to fulfill their needs.
Problem Is's picture

Just think if Billy Mays was still around to sell Oxy-Silver coins on cable channel info-mercials...

goldsaver's picture

Just picked up a hand full of these. Not a pot smoker personally (my drug of choice is Jameson), but as a libertarian I have a beef with drug laws.

gratefultraveller's picture

You might have fallen for a scam there, I'm afraid. At .999 "fine" (point 999 fine) you probably bought something similar to a whisky with .80 (point 80) proof. A bullion coin would indicate 9999 "fine silver".

If you paid by PayPal, you might still manage to recover your money, should you want to do so.

spdrdr's picture

I always thought that gold bullion coins were defined by 99.99% (0.9999) purity, and silver bullion coins were defined by 99.9% (0.999) purity.

Thanks for setting me straight on this.......


goldsaver's picture

Looks like my maples, rings like my maples and feels like my maples. Happy with them since they are presents. Prefer .999 silver over FRNs.

Sean7k's picture

.999 is a pure bullion coin and the Northwest Territorial Mint does excellent work as evidenced by their fine bars, coins and Panamerican bars and coins as well. As a private issue, it should have cost you 1 to 2 dollars over spot plus shipping. 

The .9999 designation is found on Maple leafs only for the most part with American eagles containing .997 silver and the rest in copper for example. Brittannias come in at .964 and command a huge charge over spot. 

You did just fine.

gratefultraveller's picture

Sorry, my bad. I got thrown by several aspects of that coin/website - no mention of the word silver except in the "silver Sativa", no mention of the NW Mint, the fact that no physical address of the seller is indicated, the website is registered under a proxy, and last but not least confounded it with those ".100 mills" scams on the bay.

All the better if they are good, it's a beauty, and I wouldn't mind owning myself some in that case.

Scoutster's picture

I'm buying silver bars for Christmas presents this year.

velobabe's picture

me 2 dochen.i told my sister to buy some silver coin and get JPMorgan in some trouble. wouldn't comment.

emailed her, that i was giving my nephew silver coin for his college graduation this december.  Pronto and out.

Cleanclog's picture

Except at Apple stores where frenzy continues.  I do think a good deal of on-line shopping is also happening and not necessarily caught yet.

Atomizer's picture

I went to Costco yesterday morning. Filled out the pickup paperwork and proceeded to the check out by paying cash for their sale listed computer.

20 minutes later, I was told that they didn't have the computer in stock and was promptly refunded my money. This occurred at 9:00 AM EST. Costco was a ghost town during my transaction period.


MountainHawk's picture

I have a relative that works at Costco, they said it was pretty dead. Then again, Costco prob. doesn't offer black friday deals like the mall. Probably a better indicator near X-mas.

The Rock's picture

They don't have any BF deals... but if you went to Costco on Wednesday, it was a frickin zoo with all the people doing last minute pre-Thanksgiving shopping...

MountainMan's picture

Ah, yes...the consumate shopper...they will go on shoping and charging until they have nothing left to give. The poor bastards, they are so far gone that I no longer feel much pity for them.

Cleanclog's picture

Unless they're "right".  What if more and more debt run up just doesn't get paid off?  It's what millions of Americans are doing with their mortgages and credit cards right now.  Consuming but not paying.  And I don't mean the unemployed.  Many employed people are now simply not paying the mortgage and using that money other ways - saving, or buying ipad.

Oracle of Kypseli's picture

This is happening indeed and is spreading. Trouble for banks and of course for all of us.

There will be a new wave of defaults of all sorts.

Brace yourselves. 

A Nanny Moose's picture

Mainlining any drug long enough, results in burnout, or can be terminal.

CrashisOptimistic's picture

No.  If you read the actual article you'll see that online sales, though hyped, remain only 8-10% of total sales.  Online is up a lot, but it's a tiny proportion of sales.

It's not going to be a booming Christmas.  It's all lies.

MeTarzanUjane's picture

"It's not going to be a booming Christmas."

Priced in gold Xmas will be excellent. I'm going to buy some eagles for my aunts sisters father, he lives in Covington KY
with his dog Doodle.

tmosley's picture

I'm afraid that goes in the wrong direction.  Priced in gold, Christmas sales this year will be utterly abysmal (though the purchasing power of those of us who own gold is going up--good for us!).  

Also, I don't think your grandfather and his dog appreciate your foolishness.  Obviously all they want is a currency that is being rapidly debased.  In fact, dollars aren't being debased fast enough.  I would suggest you pick up some Zimbabwe dollars if you really want to make him rich.

MeTarzanUjane's picture


You bought gold at $500-$750/oz. Cash in now get USD's. Go to store, deflationary sales are all over. BUY ITEMS!

Take items and give them to whoever. They say thanks and smile, but secretly hate what you bought and promptly return to store. They get fiat and then call Kitco and BUY ITEMS!

Priced in gold XMAS was excellent, no?


tmosley's picture

Deflation in terms of gold is always more severe than in terms of fiat during deflationary periods.  I mean, come on, our economy has collapsed, but prices have barely budged as measured by the CPI.  Food is going up, while non-essentials are going down.

You say that gold is going to go back down, but you give no other reason than the handwaving argument of "deflation", when every period of deflation in the past has always exerted an UPWARD pressure on the purchasing price of gold.

Tarzan need present argument, or tmosley SMASH!  Maybe tmosley smash anyway, depending on quality and logical consistency.  Me no know.  Me just unfrozen caveman scientist.

MeTarzanUjane's picture

Ok, I'll spell it out 4 u. Churn the gold. Spike the volume, spike the price. Churn the gold.

Byte Me's picture

He lives with his dog's "doodle"?


Outstanding revelation!

Sean7k's picture

17% unemployment is all you have to know. Online shopping is up to avoid taxation costs. Christmas will be like last year. There is no extra money for most people. 

Consumerism will not help us- only capital injections to industry to create products and thus employment. Production is additive, consumerism is subtractive.

cossack55's picture

Hey babe, its happenin'.  60 Billion from the Saudi boyz alone.  And those are all combat expendables.  Party like its '99.

snowball777's picture

Motherfucker, I've seen crackwhores with better marketing skillz than you.

What idiot corporation would be hiring into the second dip of the soon-to-be-called Greatest Depression?

Do you not see them selling 8000:1?!

What's 'additive' about products sitting in warehousing or on shelves?

Sean7k's picture

Probably one that was capable of selling it's production. There are products being sold in the world. I guess you would prefer more consumerism with less production? That would help a lot. 

Malinvestment will be resolved, but business will go on.

Oligarchs Gone Wild's picture

At some point in the future we will look back on this insanity that hijacked a religion (no matter what your take on god is) in order to feed the oligarchs by using what is now almost 2 months of the year to make you seem "unholy" if you do not partake in consumer psychotic crowd behavoir that is BUY BUY BUY.  

Where's the study on what % of consumer debt is generated during this period?

It was the first week of November this year that local malls started putting up their Christmas mind hypnotizing propaganda.

Don't be that mommy and daddy who didn't stroke the kiddies egos on Christmas morning!

Oh yeah, don't forget that fucking $80K car with a fucking bow on it to surprise her Christmas morning, along with the $20K diamond ring for your wife, otherwise, well, you're just not good enough for her.


MeTarzanUjane's picture

Priced in gold that $80K car is prolly 'round $5k or so. So it looks like you spend a fortune of fiats.

Now run and get you some gold son and she'll be slobbering on the knob till the raindeers come.

ILikeBoats's picture

First post I have ever seen where someone named that part of their anatomy "raindeer" ...

Duuude's picture



Bellysnort !!!




trav7777's picture

yep.  If you don't show up with BLING and the kids aren't TOTALLY ECSTATIC just like the TV commercials, well then...YOU are a FAILURE.

I will buy the car for the guy who tells his wife deadpan, in response to "he's getting HER that car, why don't you get that for me," "maybe if you looked even vaguely as good as she does..."

blunderdog's picture

If you really want to help your kids' egos, don't buy gifts.  Get 'em jobs. 

(Maybe they'd even be able to move out of the basement again.)

Everyone hurries and stares past me,
Benefits are gone, as you can see.
I don't know just who to blame for this catastrophe,
But my one wish on Xmas Eve is as plain as it can be.

All I want for Xmas is a living wage, a living wage, a living wage,

It's been so long since I could say,
"Save time-off for holiday!"
With weekdays free, oh woe is me,
I wish I was commuting... (vroom vroom)

Things that go bump's picture

Oligarchs, it is thought that Christ was born in the spring.  Mithras is the god whose birth was celebrated on December 25th.  He was born in a cave, of a virgin coincidentally, or a rock, depending on what source you consult and was a favorite of the legions from around the 1st to the 4th centuries.  The winter soltice occurs around that date and was celebrated in many forms by the Celtic, Germanic, Gaulish, Scandinavian and Roman pagans of pre-Christian Europe.  In their wisdom, the good fathers of the early church found it preferable to incorporate and repurpose the pagan festivals of their converts.  Since people will have their parties no matter what the priests say.  Better to celebrate a mass and see that things don't get out of hand.  You can see a more recent incidence of that particular proclivity of the Catholic Church in Mexico's Day of the Dead, which started life as an Aztec festival, celebrated still, in a new incarnation under the auspices of the church.   Christmas is a secular celebration captured by religion for the past 1500 years or so.   

Jake3463's picture

Everything about the Holiday corresponds to Pagan Mythology.  Down to the damn tree you put in your house.