Black Friday Shopping Like There Is No Tomorrow?

Tyler Durden's picture

By now the broader population has been inundated with reports of what a stunning retail experience Black Friday was. And for those who haven't just head over to CNBC: "Sales rose an estimated 6.6 percent to a record $11.4 billion on Black Friday, typically the busiest shopping day of the year for Americans, while the traffic at stores rose 5.1 percent, according to ShopperTrak. The day's sales growth was the strongest percentage gain since 2007, when sales rose 8.3 percent on the day after Thanksgiving, said Ed Marcheselli, chief marketing officer at ShopperTrak, which monitors retail traffic." This is happening despite the savings rate recently dropping to pre-Depressionary level, and despite revolving consumer credit (as in not cars and colleges), continuing to contract. That there is more than enough fine print will be largely irrelevant for the mainstream media which will naturally trumpet this as the next best thing to the S&P actually rising for once: "More than 120 stores at the Mall of America opened at midnight. The crowd at that point was about 15,000 people. Mall operators estimated that it was the largest crowd ever at the mall, which is big enough to hold seven Yankee Stadiums. While eager shoppers emerged from stores around the country lugging big-screen TVs and bags full of video games and toys, it was far from certain that people will pull out their wallets for much more than the best deals this year. Shoppers with limited budgets started using layaway at chains such as Walmart as early as October. Retail shares fell more than the overall market on Friday. "Americans are still worried about jobs, still worried about the economy," said Mike Thielmann, group executive vice president at J.C. Penney, who noted that shoppers were buying gifts and for themselves, and said jewelry was selling well." Yet what really caught our attention was the Retail Group comparison of this "record" black Friday Weekend. From Bloomberg: 'RETAIL GROUP SAYS SECOND-BEST BLACK FRIDAY WEEKEND WAS IN 2008." As a reminder, Thanksgiving 2008 happened just after a nearly 400 point plunge in the S&P in two months as can be seen in the chart below. Which begs the question: with the world on the verge every single day once again, is it a coincidence that people spent more than they did only compared to 2008 when the world was once again ending. In other words, did Americans really spend "like there is no tomorrow" (more so than ever that is)... and what happens when the bill (because there is no doubt the purchasing was entirely on credit) is in the mailbox?

S&P heading into Thanksgiving 2008: must have done miracles for consumer confidence and desire to spend...

And for those who like comparative charting, is the action in 2008 predicting something very ugly for the immediate future, now that Joe Sixpack has spent themselves broke?

And some other indicative headlines from the Retail Federation courtesy of Bloomberg:

  • RECORD 226 MLN SHOPPED OVER U.S. HOLIDAY WEEKEND, SURVEY FINDS
  • MEN OUTSPENT AND OUTSHOPPED WOMEN,' NRF'S ELLEN DAVIS SAYS
  • NATIONAL RETAIL FEDERATION COMMENTS IN E-MAILED STATEMENT
  • U.S. HOLIDAY SHOPPER SPENT $398.62, RETAIL GROUP SURVEY SAYS
  • TOTAL U.S. SPENDING WAS RECORD $52.4 BLN, RETAIL SURVEY FINDS
  • U.S. SHOPPERS SPENT $150.53 ON ONLINE PURCHASES, GROUP SAYS
  • 28.7 MLN PEOPLE SHOPPED ONLINE, AT STORES, UP FROM 22.2 MLN
  • 51.4% OF SPENDING WENT TO CLOTHING, ACCESSORIES, SURVEY FINDS
  • DEPARTMENT STORES MOST POPULAR DESTINATION, RETAIL GROUP SAYS
  • RETAIL FEDERATION CONDUCTED SURVEY THURSDAY THROUGH SATURDAY
  • MORE `SELF-GIFTING' THIS YEAR, NATL RETAIL FEDERATION SAYS
  • RETAIL GROUP SAYS MORE PURCHASING IN DISCRETIONARY CATEGORIES
  • BLACK FRIDAY WEEKEND MAKES UP ABOUT 10% OF HOLIDAY SALES: NRF
  • NRF WON'T CONSIDER REVISING FORECAST UNTIL NOV. SALES REPORTED
  • RETAIL GROUP SAYS SECOND-BEST BLACK FRIDAY WEEKEND WAS IN 2008

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Franken_Stein's picture

It's time to confound their knavish tricks.

Bodhi's picture

I spent a lot of time slumming at some of the Black Friday web sites.  Personally I haven't spend a dime yet, but amongst the regulars they all seem to agree that there was a lot of 'noobs' this year. 

 

Many showing up just to see what all the fuss was about.   Not spending, just obeying what the tv told them they should be doing.

 

I think I need to buy a gun's picture

aprox $2600 of that was me....i bought an ounce and a half

WhiteNight123129's picture

I bought 403 ounces of Gold in the last couple of weeks, I was busy on thrusday I guess it does not count... pfff. fuck money markets and equity markets never bottoming (they will at one point Adam Smith ALWAYS rules, a good man by the way, in framework of economics his rooted  in moral philosophy). The powerful psycopaths think nothing can happen to them? They should think twice. Mussolini ... hanged upsidedown. Hitler.. killed himself.  Napoleon .... exiled in a shit hole. Julius Caesar... murdered.  Stalin... heart attack in his bunkerized bedroom noone heard his call for help.

DosZap's picture

Already told ya a few days ago.

Americans cannot DO WITHOUT binging at the malls, and stores for NO more than 2-3yrs,before they go NUTS.

This is a Normal Cycle for them.

Their phylosophy is, Ok, I have done w/out, long enough.

Carlyle Groupie's picture

I believe in your argument Zapster. It's well reasoned and reflects the pampered nature of the American consumer.

The American consumer will surprise their retail hosts this year.

The Big Ching-aso's picture

 

 

Well I do know for a fact that pepper spray sales this Friday were hot and heavy.

AbelCatalyst's picture

90% of people have no idea what is going on in the financial world... I sat around a Thanksgiving table and all they could talk about was the amazing rates they're getting on home equity loans. It's a joke. No clue. One was talking about a bridge loan - imagine carrying two mortgages in this environment?? Wtf?? It's shocking - I guess ignorance is bliss until it bites you in the ass and you beg for help! How could we have known this was coming? It's not our fault we were not prepared... Read the story of the two sets of virgins in the Bible - history repeats over and over and over again!!! Asleep at the switch!!

I think I need to buy a gun's picture

i had a semi reunion...same thing they all thought we were out of it and things were getting better....wtf

lotsoffun's picture

abelcatalyst - you seem to be a prudent man.  but - for many (most?) - there is no downside for running up massive mortgage debt and not paying it back.  you can live 2 - 3 years without paying a month of mortgage - and home equity is no recourse.  in the meantime - whatever money you do have to spend - papa johns delivery while purchasing i-whatever upgrades.  and that IS what obama wants.  the taxpayers already own FH/FN and will soon own countrywide, and that's about all the mortgages in the US.  so obama wants you, fat, happy, buying and keeping china happy also.  and markets up.  FH/FN are no longer in the market scores.  BAC at 5 is no longer in the market scores.

 

SteveNYC's picture

U.S. HOLIDAY SHOPPER SPENT $398.62, RETAIL GROUP SURVEY SAYS

SteveNYC spend = $0

French Frog's picture

But remember that in a bankster's world 0 + 0 = more than 0, so it's positive nonetheless

peekcrackers's picture

If a crapy plastic trinket falls off on the forced child  sweat shop labor table and on dirt floor and  there is no American around to hear it , does it still make a noise?

hidingfromhelis's picture

If Lawrence Yun of the National Association of Realtors is there to tell us it's bullish for a housing recovery...you bet it does!

Carlyle Groupie's picture

Unfortunately, this video is not available in Germany because it may contain music for which GEMA has not granted the respective music rights.

Send me a private message and tell me about it. ok?

Almost Solvent's picture

Spent some FRNs @ Century Liquor (Danny Wegman empire) on discounted cases of wine - fuck the electronic crap, I want to enjoy some vino for my FRNs.

smlbizman's picture

and i betcha that the default rate on all momo credit purchsaes are realistically in the 18-23% range....so about 20% of the 99% got 100% of there junk "free"

Hulk's picture

Hulk spent zero. Hulk not going to spend a dime this year, the spectacle has so disgusted me...

JPM Hater001's picture

Yes, and dont get angry...

Hulk's picture

Next time I get angry, I'm headed to the coal bin to make diamonds...

SheepleLOVEcheddarbaybiscuits's picture

funny, I went to a bookstore yesterday and it was filled to the brim with books! people just buying worthless junk this holiday season like margaritaville makers. I remember when i was a kid in the 90's(I'm 26), I asked for books instead of junk or toys. Those days are long gone lol. Amerika is becoming more comatose by the minute. The majority of the populus cares about 4 things 1. what kind of car they drive 2. designer clothes 3. electronics 4. what they can watch on tv

lotsoffun's picture

yo stevenyc - i'm a size 16/36 shirt.  i likes nice puffy daddy designs.  i like pouilly-fusse (i like folly-pussy better).  come on big guy.  step up.  not spending is not american.

WhiteNight123129's picture

Well done: boycott BS consumerism. Now what you have is scrapping the bottom, people so tight that they use the discounts to buy what they could not buy otherwise.

 

mkkby's picture

Mkkby - $0.  Fuck xmas and all the fake retail holidays. 

All the mindless shopping a-holes with no savings are going to be pepper spraying each other for that walmart greeter job when they're 90.  Mkkby will be retiring in comfort.

French Frog's picture

Why worry about tomorrow when there's already so much to worry about today ?!

zerozam's picture

Exactly! New "record" every year!!!

ghengis86's picture

Don't you have to spend your FRNs as soon as you get them in an inflationary environment with negative real savings rates, especially if you're a sheeple and haven't heard of PMs?

surf0766's picture

The mall near me is empty. Both with people and stores. I can't see any increase.

homer8043's picture

So basically, retailers stuffed their holiday sales into one weekend at a lower margin. Yawn. Back to watching the global economic collapse.

NumberNone's picture

Mike Thielmann, group executive vice president at J.C. Penney, who noted that shoppers were buying gifts and for themselves, and said jewelry was selling well."...maybe someone should clarify for the masses that jewelry gold bought at retail is not an investment.  

Alpha Monkey's picture

maybe in a few years... I priced some recently, the price of gold would have to almost tripple for anything crafted with 24K.

Bobbyrib's picture

Actually, I bought one peice of gold jewelry (on sale) as a hedge against the threat of confiscation. Sure it costs me three times as much, but it's better to have legal "currency" when TSHTF.

UP Forester's picture

I bought my wife a BHG locket and chain.  Regularly $279.99, clearance price $27.99.  Always shop the clearance items....

mkkby's picture

Real deep thinker here... Hey idjit -- you can buy the cheapest ingots and melt them into something legal if that ever becomes an issue.

Bobbyrib's picture

I'm the "deep thinker"? Where can you buy "gold ingots"? If you mean gold bars, those would probably be included when the government outlaws private gold ownership. The melting point of gold is nearly 2000 degrees farenheit. When TSHTF, I'm pretty certain I won't have access to anything that heats gold to that degree. I'm glad you will though.

Max Fischer's picture

 

 

Peak Oil's fault.  Apparently, there isn't enough energy for everyone to go shopping like four years ago.  Maybe Howard Schultz will do an interview on CNBC tomorrow and blame the lack of Starbuck's giftcards on diminishing energy supplies and Trav7777 will be vindicated.  

Max Fischer, Civis Mundi

GeneMarchbanks's picture

I like Robot better. He's much more in-your-face douchey while you're just kinda douchey.

Carlyle Groupie's picture

My mom use to say if you can't say something nice about a spacemonkey it's better to say nothing at all.

She hasn't said that in a while but that's another story. (Oh brother...)

taraxias's picture

trav took him behind the shed and spanked him. These "intellectual" types don't get over it very easily it seems.

Spastica Rex's picture

The delivery is a bit flat. I would suggest adding a little black humor to spice it up. Less is usually more, though: there's a fine line between trolling and boring.

MountainHawk's picture

Micro Center in Rockville, MD the line to the cash regiser was atleast 1/2 mile long. Shop till you drop!

 

It's the end of the world as we know it!

DosZap's picture

I refuse to buy anything from these people,"Micro Center", they have nearly non existenent telephone sales help, and to a man/woman, the most rude ,could give a shite less attitudes I have ever encountered.

earleflorida's picture

poor sheeple,... winters coming and they've already been fleeced

ZAPatty's picture

I think the attitude is best expressed as "fuck it."  Consumers are so deep in the hole credit-wise that it doesn't make any difference if they spend a few hundred more for Christmas, especially when self-gifting.