Black Friday Total Sales Crash 10% (Despite Rise In Online Spend)

Tyler Durden's picture

We can hear the mainstream media now - "Great News Everyone!! The American consumer is back" - online sales on Black Friday rose 10% to $1.7 billion which ComScore says shows "strong spending." The only problem is - which we suspect will be oddly missing from the mainstream narrative, as ShopperTrak reports total sales on Black Friday crashed 10% to $10.4 billion. While blame has been placed on early opening on Thanksgiving, that is false too since spending on that day also plunged 10%. So, the sales news is unequivocally bad - which is hardly surprising given the collapse in consumer confidence.


So to clarify... (via The Guardian)

Total sales in the US on Black Friday fell 10% to $10.4bn this year, down from $11.6bn in 2014, according to research firm ShopperTrak.  

The decline in sales on the traditional busiest shopping day of the year has been blamed on shops opening the day before. But this year, sales on Thanksgiving also dropped, and by the same percentage, to $1.8bn.


A big reason for the decline is increased online shopping, as Americans hunt down deals on their smartphones, tablets and computers.

So, fewer customers ventured out for the traditional busiest shopping day of the year, while online retailers saw sales jump... (via Comscore)

Black Friday (November 27) followed with an even stronger spending day with $1.66 billion in desktop online sales, up 10 percent from Black Friday 2014.


“While the holiday season opened a little softer than anticipated, Thanksgiving and Black Friday both posted strong online spending totals that surpassed $1 billion on desktop computers and grew at the rate we had expected,” said comScore chairman emeritus Gian Fulgoni. “This is also the second straight year that Thanksgiving has established itself as one of the more important online buying days, while Black Friday continues to gain in importance online with each passing year. Looking ahead to Cyber Monday, we expect to see upwards of $2.5 billion in desktop spending as people return to their work computers after Thanksgiving weekend and use some of their down time to continue their holiday gift buying, but without other family members looking over their shoulders.

So to clarify total sales collapsed by $1.2 billion (even as online sales rose by $150 million)... but everything will be awesome once Americans get back to work and start using their work computers to buy buy buy....

*  *  *

So, for those with difficulty with reading and math...


The National Retail Federation just held their post-Black Friday conference call to clarify evewrything...

  • *NRF: MANY NUMBERS THIS YEAR CAN'T BE COMPARED WITH PAST YEARS (unless the numbers are better in which case they're awesome)
  • *NRF: SLOWER JOB GROWTH DURING SUMMER COULD IMPACT SPENDING (but you just said fundamentals were very strong?)

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JustObserving's picture

Can we not double or triple seasonally adjust this data?

Can we not create a silk purse from a sow's ear one more time?  We have been doing that for decades

Hal n back's picture

Centcom can change the narrative to positive.


Actually BLS and Census Bureau do the same thing: supervisors just change the narrative.


It must be Administration policy set by Val Jarrett.

Actually thats how Obamacare came into being. Jonathan Gruber; chief inmate in charge of propaganda .

kliguy38's picture

Its time to trot out Uncle Warren on CNBS for some flirting with Becky Quicky to reassure the public its all gonna be just fine....of course this will be after we fleece the last ounce of meat off your sheeple bones.....

NoDebt's picture

Yet, GDP numbers still coming in on the strong side.  How can that be?  "Let me explain.  No, there is no time.  Let me sum up."

When the government taxes you directly is that collected tax revenue counted as "consumption" in the GDP calculations?  The answer is no.

When you pay for a required Obamacare insurance policy is that counted as "consumption" in the GDP calculations?  The answer is yes.

This is why I've been trying to get all of you to understand that government-mandated private spending is a far superior way to run an economy than just letting people spend their money as they see fit.  The government can mandate whatever GDP level they desire.  I'm glad I could clear that up once again.

coinhead's picture
coinhead (not verified) NoDebt Nov 29, 2015 5:29 PM

Buh some Bitcoin you goddamn ignorant, inbred chumps!

coinhead's picture
coinhead (not verified) Normalcy Bias Nov 29, 2015 5:40 PM

Go suck your own dick.

Kamehameha's picture

Bitcoin = NSA spook op.  Just like Tor browser.

coinhead's picture
coinhead (not verified) Kamehameha Nov 29, 2015 5:43 PM


Francis Marx's picture

"Bitcoin = NSA spook op.  Just like Tor browser." 

Exactly, just like Google. A lot people really missed it how fast google went to the top and became a monopoly on the web. It was like overnite.

At the time, they wern't offerning anything different then the other 30 search engines. Am I the only one that has ever noticed this? HELLO!

scintillator9's picture

Just like how Facebook came out of seemingly nowhere and killed MySpace.

Remember MySpace?

Just like the Faaah-Reeee Windows ten upgrade that one gets wheather one wants it, or not!!

Francis Marx's picture

GWX configurer and GWX detector = windows 10. As soon as they loaded it on my PC I had my security software stop it from running and accessing the web and downloading secretly W10

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Ecommunist is declare problem for collapse of consumer confidence, but maybe is really collapse of consumer wallet. No wage = no money = no spend

Normalcy Bias's picture

You're a fucking TOOL. Go jerk off on your bitcoins. You're a HORRIBLE ambassador for bitcoins, but perhaps that is your mission.

...but you sound immature enough to be an adolescent, so I dunno...

coinhead's picture
coinhead (not verified) Normalcy Bias Nov 29, 2015 5:50 PM

huh?  Muh was an ambassador for wha?

coinhead's picture
coinhead (not verified) Normalcy Bias Nov 29, 2015 5:56 PM

When you have achieved Satoshi consciousness, then you can go around calling people "dumb".  Okay?

nmewn's picture

WTF fonestar, this is ZH. Go peddle that bullshit on the Yahoo boards where pump & dump schemes for fiat actually work somewhat.

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

But nmewn, you can't win if you don't play!


Arnold's picture

Be sure to replace the alcohol from Dad's bottles with water,

 so the pilferage doesn't show up quickly.

coinhead's picture
coinhead (not verified) Arnold Nov 29, 2015 6:01 PM

coinhead was in a dad's Bagdhad when you were still asking for paper or plastic bags.

BlindMonkey's picture

I only think CENTCOM can affect oil prices directly.  

coinhead's picture
coinhead (not verified) BlindMonkey Nov 29, 2015 5:44 PM

Oil prices don't effect anyone.  People need to watch teh price of BTC.

Normalcy Bias's picture

Whatever meds you're on aren't working. Tell mommy to call your shrink first thing in the morning, m'kay?

Iam_Silverman's picture

"I only think CENTCOM can affect oil prices directly. "

Whatever happened to the good old days when they blamed the "speculators" for price swings?

sun tzu's picture

I did some grocery shopping at the local Walmarts on Friday morning. It was like the average weekend. On Saturday I went to Academy to get some sweatshirts as it is getting chilly. A little bit more busy than usual. The Burlington Coat Factory was like an average weekend. Then I went back to Walmart today to get some ingredients for a pie. The place was dead empty. There must have been more employees than workers. This is a Sunday where the Cowboys already played on Thursday, so it's not people staying home to watch the game. 


The kids want an Iphone 6, so I told them to get a job. 

BlindMonkey's picture

Have the kids asked Uncle Barry for one of his phones?

coinhead's picture
coinhead (not verified) BlindMonkey Nov 29, 2015 5:52 PM

Cell fonez will come with BTC or script-mining chips in a few years.  And you guyz will be able to say "I was not there, actually I was clueless".

JPM Hater001's picture

The wife says Target near the Twin Cities was a little busier but Good Will was packed.

greenskeeper carl's picture

I went to Home Depot to get a Christmas tree, kind of our day after thanksgiving tradition. Parking lot was no more full than usual. After I got home, I realized we never got a couple things for the tree. Had to go to Walmart, braced for the worst, but it really wasn't bad. Check outline in the home and garden center had a few people in line, so I got what I needed and went to the ammo counter, got a box or two so I could pay for my shit there, and walked out. Walking back past that register near where I came in, it was empty. The parking lot was no more full than it usually is, and I thought it would be swamped. I did go by a locally owned gun store that has sales, just to see of they had any optics on sale since I am in the market for one, and they had a lot of people in there. Go figure....

Iam_Silverman's picture

"and went to the ammo counter"

Did you perchance to see any of the highly elusive 22LR while there?  Saw some at Gander Mountain this weekend - stupid shits wanted 20 cents a round.  I passed.

Quasi's picture

Gee, I sure hope the .0000001 BTC I get from it is worth it. The horrendously bad battery life and burnt hands/ears from yet another chip running 24/7 sound like a bit of a downside.

Iam_Silverman's picture

"Cell fonez will come with BTC or script-mining chips in a few years."

Hopefully the newest version of the PlayStation will too.  Maybe then we can a break from your trolling.

Arnold's picture

Ditto, except for the Apple part.

That was clever.

Walmart on Friday noon, still had 52"  televisions up front and I had 0 wait time in the checkout.

The rest of the area malls (poor quality bookstores for me) were dead.

Western PA. Just another weekday afternoon.

DrZipp's picture

Well I went by the Stanford Mall in Nor Cal Friday and it was crowded as fuck.  Mainly Chinese shoppers.

Takeaction2's picture
Takeaction2 (not verified) JustObserving Nov 29, 2015 5:59 PM

I have a retail electronics store, and this article is missing a huge point.  Yes..."Sales" were down 10% but the article is NOT addressing the fact that product prices are down 10 to 20 %.  Last year, I advertised a touch screen DVD as a "Loss Leader" for $139.  THis year that same deck was my loss leader for $99.  Prices are on a deflationary race to zero right now.  The profit is sparce, and consumers are getting really spoiled.  BEst Buy had a 49" TV for $149.  It is truley scary how price of crap we don't need keeps falling, and the things we do need are FOOD.  Also, to get our proper pricing, companies like Sony, Pioneer, etc want to see at least a 5% increase in MY purchasing year over year for me to get the best deal, but they fail to address the issue of their product falling in price by 25% year over year.  I hope I am making sense to all of you non store owners.  THe point I am trying to make is this.  Shit is getting the 10% fall this year in spending is actually surprisingly low to me since this merchandise has fallen in price much more than 10% year over year.  So looking at this weekend correctly, it was actually busier at our store this year, but the sales tickets are smaller because the items are cheaper.  Deflation is in full swing.  Oh NOTE: Of course I had a Pioneer CD Player marked at $38 ($11 below my cost) and people still asked if we had anything less expensive.  Also, we had many people get "Approved" with our financing company, but they did not have the $60 down payment.  oooops

ah-ooog-ah's picture

Kudos to you Takeaction2 for keeping the fight going against the Amazon and the Best Buys of this world.  I am shifting my $pending  to local stores now as much as possible.  I can see our local main street becoming a ghost town if we let it

swmnguy's picture

Luxuries are getting cheaper, to chase the shrinking discretionary dollar.  As you point out, the prices of non-discretionary items have risen against the value of a paycheck.

This is what one should expect to see, and get used to, as our system tears itself apart, over-burdened by the carrying costs of debt at interest.  Past a certain point, the most profitable economic activity becomes abstract financial legerdemain.  At the point the entropic forces pick up speed and power like a hurricane moving over warm water.

You're in a tough business.  Everything's working against you at this point.

greenskeeper carl's picture

Ya it's crazy how cheap they are getting. What is also crazy is that there are that many idiots willing to GO INTO MORE DEBT to buy the latest and greatest teevee. They have a perfectly functioning one at home, but tell themselves that they still need to go buy the new '4k ultra' or whatever it's called just because it's new, or just because the neighbor bought one. They may be getting cheaper, but people are getting poorer too. "Check out my new tv!" "Cool, check out my credit card balance- it says 'zero' ".

honestann's picture

WRONG.  Only certain items are cheaper.  Overall, inflation was 12%, fell to about 8% last year, and now may be as low as 6%... but not negative.

For proof...

check out cost of rent or new home...
check out cost of healthcare and meds...
check out cost of non-poison/GMO food...


You are correct that certain items are down a bit.  I hear gasoline is currently down a bit from last year.  Electronics are not a good comparison.  If you want to make a fair comparison of electronics, you'd have to compare the price of torches and candles today versus 200 years ago.  To compare torches or candles to lightbulbs is a classic example of comparing apples to oranges.

If you check prices of everything, and take into account what their percentage of an average yearly family spending they are, you'll find inflation is up 6% to 8% in 2015, black-weekend sales are down 10%, for a total collapse of about 17%.


sun tzu's picture

The figures are for all sales, not just TV's. At places like Walmart and Target, that includes food, clothing, and toys, which haven't decreased in prices at all. The only things really dropping in price are the idiot boxes and related peripherals. Computer prices bottomed a couple of years ago and can't get much cheaper than $199 for a laptop. The next shoe to drop is smartphones. Apple is going to take it on the chin in the coming years.

Bangin7GramRocks's picture

"The Black Friday is the superior Friday" - Jimmy The Greek

nmewn's picture

"Look at that little monkey go!" - Howard Cosell

1stepcloser's picture

This is a real black friday...You ain't never gonna catch a crackhead!


Midas's picture

These are not the droids you are looking for.

Dr. Engali's picture

Okay, how do I say this? Oh yeah..., Nobody has any fucking money!

localsavage's picture

And those who have some are nervous and sitting on it.