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One Third Of Americans Already Done With All Holiday Shopping

Tyler Durden's picture


While everyone was celebrating "record" black Friday sales, we noted that the bulk of this was due to sales channels taking on negative margins, and due to a "cash for clunkers" like effect in which future sales were pulled forward. Sure enough, we now learn that this is precisely the case, after Reuters reports that "more than a third of U.S. shoppers are already done with most of their holiday shopping, a survey showed on Monday, signaling that retailers need to offer bigger incentives to win sales in the few weeks before Christmas... About 32 percent of people surveyed by America's Research Group said they finished a majority of their Christmas shopping in November. Last month included Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving when stores pulled out all the stops on discounts to woo shoppers during their biggest season of the year. More than 6 percent completed most of their holiday shopping in the first weekend of December." In other words so much for holiday shopping as a driver of stocks, as there is no way that the remaining two thirds of shoppers can carry the entire season regardless of what massive discounts retailers provide. This is also quite disturbing for US GDP which relies primarily on PCE as a driver to growth (although when that fails retailers can pretend they are stocking up on inventory), and will likely mean that banks which most recently (as of a week ago), had an upgrade round to Q4 GDP will be forced to promptly cut it back down. Lastly, as Rosenberg noted yesterday, once the bills come in January, that's when the wheels will really come off, just in time for the non-extension in the payroll tax.


About 28 percent of people surveyed said they plan to take a break from shopping, now that the Black Friday weekend is behind them.


"Many, many consumers, when they got those early bird specials on Black Friday, decided that that was going to be the big purchase for their family," Beemer said, adding that many shoppers spent more than they planned on Black Friday.


Sales during the Black Friday weekend soared to $52.4 billion, according to the National Retail Federation, which sees sales for the full season up 2.8 percent.


The survey also highlighted other grievances of the post-recession U.S. consumer.


More than 43 percent of those surveyed said they expect the debt crisis in Europe to hurt the United States, while about 36 percent of Americans said political gridlock in Washington as the biggest problem facing the U.S. economy right now.


About 27 percent worry about the rising cost of living, while about a quarter of those surveyed see unemployment as the key issue faced by the U.S. economy.


Many shoppers said that discount chains would be their destination of choice to do the rest of the holiday shopping, with nearly 38 percent of holiday shoppers planning to visit one, highlighting that shoppers remain highly price-sensitive.


"You have got to give them a deal that is incredible," Beemer said, suggesting retailers slash prices and offer deep discounts of 50 percent and 60 percent to lure shoppers this month.

Once the news trickles out, expect several hours of propaganda on bubblevision how soaring volumes (which are about to plunge) more than make up for negative margins. After all, nobody in the US (or Europe apparently) is good at math.


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Tue, 12/06/2011 - 08:52 | 1950381 Irish66
Irish66's picture

No wonder China is preparing for combat

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 08:59 | 1950392 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

I suppose Loss Leaders is going to take on a whole new connotation, in many divers aspects.

On-line, last hope for the system, because you cannot literally hypnotize people into stores, but on line? 

Subliminal Advertising rulez! seriously. Google it.



Tue, 12/06/2011 - 09:10 | 1950417 Irish66
Irish66's picture

the days when grocery stores played music to get you to buy more food.

2 years of studying the art of subliminal advertising

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 09:02 | 1950397 Popo
Popo's picture

Sigh.   Come on Zerohedge.   You've already got our attention.   No need to practice such piss-poor journalism today:

"32% of Americans finished the majority of their Xmas shopping",  is not the same as "One Third Of Americans Already Done With All Holiday Shopping".

In fact -- they are EXTREMELY different stats.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 09:03 | 1950402 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Popo, your dogged pursuit of journalistic integrity is quite something to behold. Over and over.



Tue, 12/06/2011 - 09:08 | 1950411 Popo
Popo's picture

It's frustrating because I hold this site in the highest regard.   ZH leads not only the blogosphere, but the entire global media in reporting on the fraud-factories otherwise known as banks,  and chronicling the slow-motion collapse of our economic system.

And then for whatever reason, Tyler occasionally sees fit to ruin all that amazing work by tossing out sensationalistic,  factually incorrect pieces which drag down the general quality level of the site...  

There's really no reason for it.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 09:39 | 1950481 Stax Edwards
Stax Edwards's picture

You just have to laugh at a lot of it.  It places such an uber bearish spin on everything to the point that even some of the most innocuous data is spun as not only earth shattering but panic worthy.  

I believe the reason is that it sells newspapers.  TD did a story about MBIA or Assured Guaranty the other day with a bullish bias and it seemed very few even bothered to read it, certainly the comment section was cricket worthy.  I for one welcome the insight for long ideas, and hope TD posts more of that stuff.  The large contingent of malcontents on the site are metaphorically like nascar fans waiting for the big one.  

Edit: I have not started my shopping yet BTW.  Hopefully this weekend!

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 09:46 | 1950511 flattrader
flattrader's picture

>>>And then for whatever reason, Tyler occasionally sees fit to ruin all that amazing work by tossing out sensationalistic,  factually incorrect pieces which drag down the general quality level of the site...  

There's really no reason for it.<<<

It's called "click-bait."

I want more "chart porn."

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 11:03 | 1950759 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Go back and look at just about ANY article that covers some aspect or action of the Obama administration and gauge the contempt for the poor fella in the titles alone.   I like objectivity as well, but it's not always to be found here at ZH.  Actually, it's a good thing.  With blatant bias it's easier to measure the credibility of the article itself.   Bias in the title certainly presages the same in the articles.   Take it all with the proverbial grain (or block) of salt.  Parsing fact from opinion keeps the mind sharp.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 15:27 | 1952027 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

It's my free opinion (treat it thusly) that there are frequent (but inconsequential in terms of substantive impact) grammatical mistakes on Zero Hedge because the flow of articles and the very fast flow of information that is updated so regularly is far greater than any other widely read site that I can think of, and any editors would have a difficult time correcting for grammatical mistakes given that rapid flow.


Tue, 12/06/2011 - 09:03 | 1950403 GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture


Tue, 12/06/2011 - 09:06 | 1950410 SteveNYC
SteveNYC's picture

SteveNYC Christmas shopping completed (to date) = $0

Anticipated SteveNYC Christmas shopping 6DEC - 25DEC = $0


We are the 32%! /sarc

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 09:45 | 1950467 cowdiddly
cowdiddly's picture

Anticipated  2012 cowdiddly buys of anything made by a stinkin corporation 0$ (Like CPI the number excludes food, Ins. and energy)

We will see Who is they call 1 percent. You started the war................

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 09:40 | 1950493 writingsonthewall
writingsonthewall's picture

Steve man - no present for me?


Come on dude - I've got you one

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 10:07 | 1950590 SteveNYC
SteveNYC's picture

Aaaaawwwwww, shucks! You shouldn't have! Ok, off to Macys I go this weekend........


Tue, 12/06/2011 - 11:19 | 1950807 Abiotic Oil
Abiotic Oil's picture

I heard from Newt Grinchrich that in NYC Tiffanys is the place to shop.  Very easy to obtain a $1million+ line of credit.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 10:10 | 1950596 SheepleLOVEched...
SheepleLOVEcheddarbaybiscuits's picture

does it count as being done if you never started shopping?

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 11:06 | 1950779 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

I buy my Christmas presents in January -- for the next coming holiday season.   Go to the huge sales of overstocked crap that has been put in aisle bins for the best bargains.   Throw the stuff in a closet and do the gift wrapping after the next Thanksgiving.  Puts ya right in the holiday mood!   You can get stuff for 10 to 20% of the Black Friday prices that happened 2 months before.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 10:40 | 1950693 Ruffcut
Ruffcut's picture

I've been done since sept. I bought all the family shares of MF global.

Gifts are for children. The rest is all complete bullshit. Adults making christmas lists. Be enabled why don't ya. A stocking filled with lead does sound interesting, though.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 08:53 | 1950383 HelluvaEngineer
HelluvaEngineer's picture

Thanks for the deep, deep discounts (at a loss)

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 08:53 | 1950384 Mr. Lucky
Mr. Lucky's picture

This is going to one bad winter for retail.  No profits; lots of returns; no future customers; and lots of overhead.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 13:14 | 1951258 Iwanttoknow
Iwanttoknow's picture

However,MSM will report a happy retail season.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 08:53 | 1950385 westboundnup
westboundnup's picture


Tue, 12/06/2011 - 08:54 | 1950389 amarshall
amarshall's picture

Completely done with Christmas shopping by Thanksgiving. Zero purchases on Black Friday.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 12:07 | 1950985 dhengineer
dhengineer's picture

The only stuff I bought on Black Friday was hydraulic cement to patch some basement floor leaks, spray foam to close off the drafts in the attic, and a few sacks of wood fuel for the pellet stove.   Just getting ready for the season up here in Upstate New York.  Oh, and then we had lunch in our local diner.  Christmas presents?  Nada.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 08:56 | 1950390 Achilles
Achilles's picture

German retailer Metro just gave a profit warning for 2011.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 09:00 | 1950395 The Deleuzian
The Deleuzian's picture

Whatever Holiday sales #'s are released will be managed...Always above expectations and always a few % above last year...Why would you think this year would be different...Bloomberg analyst telling shopping tales of Xmas 'decorations' and long lines at HD stronger than last year...It never ends...

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 09:02 | 1950398 Milton Waddams
Milton Waddams's picture

I get the holiday spirit thing, that it can be leveraged for a good lay or two, or to catch up with family, or whatever... but this shopping thing... mass delusion ... holidaze... transferring money amongst ourselves but kicking 30%+ of it back to the retail sector for the privilege.  Treasury is selling bags of shredded money.. makes a great gift.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 09:42 | 1950500 Stax Edwards
Stax Edwards's picture

Funny you should mention that.  Shredded money is actually free at the FED in little sealed bags. I picked some up last time I was up in Atlanta. You can have as many as you want, no charge.  They are available in the museum which is free also.  We got them to give to neices and nephews for their stockings.  Little kids find that pretty cool!

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 09:55 | 1950524 flattrader
flattrader's picture


I wonder what the insulating R value of that crap is?

Anybody know?

This could be a way for fedgov to do some good.

Distribute free bags of shredded money for insulation to Americans who can no longer afford heat because they shredded the value of the currency.

Gotta love irony.

Sorry.  That should have read FEDfedgov.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 10:23 | 1950650 Esso
Esso's picture

The R value is probably close to that of blown in celluose, but why not add in some Elmer's Glue-All and press it into cardboard boxes for the homeless to live in?

"Ha! my cardboard house is worth three million dollars!"

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 09:05 | 1950404 shutdown
shutdown's picture

I'm done with all of it. 

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 09:13 | 1950431 Josh Randall
Josh Randall's picture

Of course, It doesn't take long when you have no friends...

Sorry you walked into that one

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 09:18 | 1950441 Ratscam
Ratscam's picture

maybe he does not need to bribe them for attention ...

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 09:22 | 1950451 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture


"maybe he does not need to bribe them for attention ..."

Someone is single

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 09:15 | 1950437 Ratscam
Ratscam's picture

I didn't even start and will not so until the next discount round in January.

Inflation for necessities - deflation for shit you don't need.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 09:10 | 1950422 Nothing real here
Nothing real here's picture

While the markeet celebrates the HOPE of ECB printing, the S&P companies are losing sales in Euroland, the American consumer is turning cautious (uncertain of the payroll tax extension), and China is coming down hard. 

Reality returns after Christmas, if not Friday.



Tue, 12/06/2011 - 09:12 | 1950424 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

A key sector to look at is videogames (televisions will probably be one of the retail numbers that is fudged).

If videogame companies, and stores like GameStop see a slowdown in sales, then you REALLY know the shit is starting to hit the fan. 

What else does one do when they are unemployed?

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 09:18 | 1950444 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture


"What else does one do when they are unemployed?"


Watch soaps

Masturbate to soaps

Masturbate some more

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 09:43 | 1950504 Willzyx
Willzyx's picture

I sleep till 2pm and miss most of the soaps

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 15:56 | 1952166 Mr. Magniloquent
Mr. Magniloquent's picture

I would have imagined Zipods missed them because most companies do not broadcast to the Moon.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 09:14 | 1950432 GIANTKILR
GIANTKILR's picture

Starve the Beast! If you do have to shop, buy everything online and out of state, so no sales tax. Also, look for free shipping deals.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 09:21 | 1950449 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture


"buy everything online and out of state, so no sales tax."

Someone isn't living in 2011.


Tue, 12/06/2011 - 10:14 | 1950610 flattrader
flattrader's picture

Did better than that yesterday.

I am making a musical instrument strap for an unusual instrument.  The cheapest I could find on line was $19.95 + 4.95 shipping...what bullshit.

After looking at the design it became apparent all I needed was 2 sets of suspenders.

Three thrift stores later...2 sets of suspenders, new pillow, new shoes, new coat, new merino wool sweater, new leather wallet that had $5 in it.

(And when I say "new" I mean half the items still had tags on them, other half had no visible signs of wear.)

Total less than the $25 dollars to order the instrument strap...probably made in china.  Less than $20 counting the $5 bucks gratis.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 09:16 | 1950439 Clam McCain
Clam McCain's picture

credit cards and dreams - thats all you need in life


Tue, 12/06/2011 - 09:20 | 1950447 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

Clam McCain

I would say having a Penis is a plus in life. There is always something to play with when you are bored.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 09:18 | 1950443 I am Jobe
I am Jobe's picture

Comeon the sheeples are still wanting crap which they define their life's with which is of no use. Got to go, Macy's is having a sale andso is Kohl's. Got to suuport the SQUID Empire.


Tue, 12/06/2011 - 09:18 | 1950446 midgetrannyporn
midgetrannyporn's picture

Cash is the greatest gift of all, especially for those who might be hurting.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 09:23 | 1950454 death_to_fed_tyranny
death_to_fed_tyranny's picture

As I work in a major retail electronics store, I can tell you first hand that sales have been lethargic. We push the credit card hard for every sheep that enters the store. The store is packed to the brim with cheap chinese crap that is piling up with each truck that comes in to resupply stock. There is no reason to resupply. Merry Fucking Christmas Motherfuckers!

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 09:25 | 1950459 sabra1
sabra1's picture

considering the amount of waffle makers sold, i'm going long 3X waffle ETF's!

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 09:27 | 1950460 blindman
blindman's picture

time to shop for 2012!
Wall Street too big to Jail ?
The Genius of Charles Darwin part 1,2,..

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 09:29 | 1950465 LeZinc
LeZinc's picture

Anti-consumerists here. No gifts between adults and just enough for kids so they can say they got whatever to their friends at school. We bought them good quality SECOND HAND gifts, nothing new out of the store. They know why and are cool with it (teens).

We were done with our small Xmas shopping back in August. No Black Friday, no Cyber Monday, no plans to go out on Boxing Day.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 09:33 | 1950474 pazmaker
pazmaker's picture

We  bought our first flat screen(32") this year because the old tube tv broke.  The last time I bought a tv was 15 yrs ago. 

Buying christmas presents for 8 people with a $40 limit on each.  Thats it for me!

My wife says:   eres un tacaño!   but I don't like being in debt!

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 09:34 | 1950477 bugs_
bugs_'s picture

budget.  planning.  no impulse buying.  no credit cards.  a budget to spend for november and a budget to spend for december.  no debt hangover in january and february.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 09:39 | 1950491 writingsonthewall
writingsonthewall's picture

Here's a tip


Buy this book for Christmas


Read it.


Inside you will find an almost identical parallel with teh MSM of today - they talked of V shaped recoveries, they talked of 'reaching the bottom' they talked of "signs of recovery" for about 10 years.


It's incredibley revealing and it will prepare you for the next 7 years.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 10:55 | 1950745 New_Meat
Tue, 12/06/2011 - 09:54 | 1950536 Tsar Pointless
Tsar Pointless's picture

I was done holiday shopping before I even began doing it.

I am not buying a thing for anybody, not even myself. And that's saying something.

Merry Grinchmas, one and all!

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 09:54 | 1950537 El Oregonian
El Oregonian's picture

NEWS FLASH: Santa is cutting back on gifts this year. Started to lay off Reindeer and Elves telling the residents of the North Polethat hr, Santa, he can't afford employing them any longer because his corporation is in deficit with grim future prospects and was heard yelling out: "His whole operation is going in the"HOLE-HOLE-HOLE!"

Sorry kiddies.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 10:26 | 1950658 solgundy
solgundy's picture

December 5, 2011 -- Items I've seen and learned over the weekend.

You see everything here in rehab. Some things you don't want to see, for instance my new roommate who lived in a little town in Southern Mexico (he's American) was kicked in the head by a horse. He has, I guess, a gaping hole in his head and part of his brain is exposed. He is scheduled to have an operation in late December to have a titanium plate to cover the hole. It's amazing he is still alive.

The budget of the US amounts to $926 billion, equal to the military spending of all the nations in the world combined. The US is also the largest seller of military goods on the planet. We sponsor and finance wars.

Yesterday's Wall Street Journal contained the usual anti-gold article with warnings against buying from various dealers who tend to overcharge.

Finally Herman (the vermin) has given up in a long and boring speech, and Hermie blames conspirators for ruining his chances of being a GOP choice.

A lot of subscribers are asking me about my son Ryan who is now running a sustainable 40 acre farm north of San Francisco. Ryan has planted a large collection of vegetables and about 30 different fruit trees. So it appears Ryan will also survive the future while much of the rest of the world starves.

I was studying closely a picture of Hilary who had died her hair blond and has gained quite a bit of weight. Her face looks like a scary specimen of amateur plastic surgery. I can hardly recognize her these days.

As for me, I just got OK'd by my surgeon to put full weight on my left leg. I had a full replacement of my left hip and what I consider an amazing operation. In the 87 years since I was born, I consider the progress in medicine to be almost miraculous. Remember, I grew up in the age before antibiotics.

Football now seems to be the national religion of the US. Instead of going to church on Sunday, our citizens watch the NFL. If not the NFL, then college football on Saturday. A study shows that in the typical NFL game the actual action consumes 10 minutes and 43 seconds, the rest is talk and advertisements. The highest paid citizen at almost every major university is now the football coach. Most top caliber coaches make from 1 to 4 million per year, far above what the university's president makes. Personally I'm turned off quite a bit on football because of the accidents and the maiming. Most pro NFL players suffer physical disabilities for life. As one coach put it, dancing is a contact sport, and football is a collision sport. Question: What's the only game where the defense has the ball? Surprise, you sports experts, it's baseball.

The stock market continues to rise on the basis of negative interest rates that are manipulated by the fed with high hopes that Europe will do what is needed to keep the Euro alive. In this situation Germany's Angela Merkel has become the Euro fan, which will go a long way to giving life to the Euro. The overriding problem in Europe and the US are debts far beyond anybody's power to pay off. So it's a question of who takes the hair cut and how short the hair will be when the barbers are finished. The massive amounts of capital that have been thrust into the system by the federal banks will give way to inflation somewhere in the future -- probably within the next three years. With it will come higher interest rates and this will finish with the happy times of today. When trillions of dollars of debt have to be rolled over at rising rates the garbage will hit the fan and hit it hard. In the mean time our best method of survival and retaining power will be gold. Question: What have you got when you take the "l" out of gold?


----------------Richard Russell  12/6/11

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 10:51 | 1950729 azzhatter
azzhatter's picture

I pretty much never started and I'm finished. Maybe the hot new porn video "Becky does Warren in the bath tub" for my brother. He can add it to "Cramer fellates another CEO" and "Dick Bove takes a ride on the Hershey Highway with Brian Moynahan"

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 10:53 | 1950738 Infidel
Infidel's picture

Spending the unemployment checks is easy ... and thanks to pelosi , the unemployment checks are excellent job producers..........  lol

Nancy Pelosi is living proof that too many botox injections do in fact kill vital brain cells


Tue, 12/06/2011 - 11:39 | 1950877 i love cholas
i love cholas's picture

I usually wait till the xmas eve to do my shopping. It lets me get away from family and great deals can be found on 7/11 floors.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 11:41 | 1950884 MFL8240
MFL8240's picture

I'll bet those invested in MF Global finished their holiday shopping, except for a stop at the gun store.

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 11:48 | 1950900 aeonautic
aeonautic's picture

Finished mine shortly after getting laid off!  Thanks, well-managed 401k, Christmas won't blow so much this year!  (Next year, however...)

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 12:11 | 1951000 haskelslocal
haskelslocal's picture

66% of Americans haven't done "most" of their Christmas shopping. The other third are addicts who, after having shopped some, plan on buying more at max credit.

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 02:21 | 2000188 kevin22
kevin22's picture

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