So Much For A "Record Black Friday": November Retail Sales Miss Big

Tyler Durden's picture

Earlier we just got confirmation out of Best Buy that one can not, as expected, offset negative margins with near-infinite volume (as the stock tumbles). Now we get advance retail sales proving that all speculation about a record Black Friday was just that. Oh, and a lie. In short - everything missed. Advance retails sales in November (including Thanksgiving) came at 0.2%, on expectations of 0.6%, and down from a revised 0.6%. Retail sales less autos was 0.2%, half of the expected 0.4%, while ex Auto and Gas also printed at 0.2%, also missing big. So... where did all the money go, aside from generating even more negative profits for retailers, who now have to eat a huge cash hole in addition to everything? Or were speculations that Black Friday was a bust, spot on? Expect lower Q4 GDP revisions based on this data.

From the report:

The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for November, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $399.3 billion, an increase of 0.2 percent (±0.5%)* from the previous month and 6.7 percent (±0.7%) above November 2010. Total sales for the September through November 2011 period were up 7.4 percent (±0.5%) from the same period a year ago. The September to October 2011 percent change was revised from +1.1 percent (±0.3) to +1.3 percent (±0.3%).


Retail trade sales were up 0.3 percent (±0.5%)* from October 2011, and 6.8 percent (±0.7%) above last year. Nonstore retailers sales were up 13.9 percent (±2.3%) from November 2010 and gasoline stations sales were up 12.9 percent (±1.7%) from last year.

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therearetoomanyidiots's picture

Sorry to hear that Tsar, i've been there a while, 2 folks OOW and the one's remaining unemp runs out for good this week, for us.  


AM - one of the biggest bullshit stories on television is the one the MSM is floating for the past couple of months, in support of the corporations, that they can't find any candidates here to fill these high tech jobs.   That's why they need to rubber stamp green cards for indians and chinese to come here and do the engineering work.  Not to mention all the back door code those clowns can build into our most important systems, what happens when we don't get along with these countries?  


The reality is that the labor pool is CHEAPER there, it's cheaper to bring those bastards here to right all the code, design everything, because the US has too high a standard of living, and likewise, paychex.   This is what this whole thing is about...lowering our standard of living so that corporations can make more money.    Bye bye middle class, it was nice knowing you...



Citxmech's picture

Bought a case of canning jar lids last month. Just checked what I paid and this month they went up $20.

SnobGobbler's picture

actually is a loss if you account for inflation. best season eva'!!!

youngman's picture

Well if I was a retailer...I would be analyzing this bigtime...its not a good business plan to give away everything on one day...and then to starve the rest of the time...the labor you have to hire and train for that one day is expensive too....

darkpool2's picture

If you can only fill your store with the bottom feeders, who have zero loyalty beyond give- away days, then its time to revisit your business model.

warezdog's picture

Talk about givaways, they had a promo to give away free subwoofer cabinets with a purchase of a subwoofer in late november. I found $50 subs and ordered one at a time to get a "free" dual 12" enclosure, repeated this 3 more times each time choosing to pickup the speaker at the store and have the cabinets delievered. Long story short the cabinets were 58lbs each and delivered by UPS and retail today for $179 each, go figure how they made anything since the subs I bought were on sale already for half price. Cabs sold on CL for $75 each and I broke even on the subs, thanks BB for netting me $300!

firstdivision's picture

I'm sure they did analyze it.  I wouldn't be surprised if holiday hiring isn't way up, with less people being full-time.  Additionally, I see Best Buy closing some stores next year to lower costs. 

batterycharged's picture

yeah, 120,000, didn't ya hear?  Good thing for economy pumpers those temp jobs don't show up in weekly claims.

All upside!

Snidley Whipsnae's picture

youngman... Brick and mortar retail sales have been losing ground to on line sales since at least 1998 but since an enormous amount of money has been allocated to shopping centers the pace of brick and mortar collapse is relatively slow.

I see lots of closed and partially closed shopping centers in this area...and many homeless people wandering about aimlessly.

therearetoomanyidiots's picture

"I see lots of closed and partially closed shopping centers in this area...and many homeless people wandering about aimlessly."

It's the truth.

And people say zombie movies are fantasy...

augie's picture

@Cdad That's dangerous talk. Could get you labeled an Alqueda sympathizer, best to keep shopping and take our pills.

Sent from iPhone

Cdad's picture

No pills here.  As for what someone might label me, I'm not worried about that now.  "I have been to the mountain...I've seen the other side."

SheepDog-One's picture

That boy has cried wolf way too many times.

The Deleuzian's picture

But the wolf finally came!  Wait...That story didn't end well did it...

mayhem_korner's picture



Nah.  Ben's not going to unleash the $Kraken on this.  Equities continue their decoupled levitation, so there's no visible market indicator to panic TPTB.  And the last round of ECB coordinated bank liquidization should buy them through 'til New Year's at least. 

SheepDog-One's picture

Nah, time to bring it all down. No one believes in nonsense QE anymore, its not 2008 after all, and no one is fooled.

Besides, 'QE' is what pisses off americans the most right now, they identify it with 'handing free money to the rich', last thing Obama wants with his all-time low approval ratings...and $4.50 gas in his election year? 

Its not going to happen.

The Deleuzian's picture

Then the deflationary spiral has finally arrived...It was always lurking...Now for all to see, fangs and all!!!

mayhem_korner's picture



Possibly.  But deflation (of durable assets) has been creeping in all along since '07.  OTOH, all of the digital liquidity that has been propping up the TBTF banks has been but a dribble into circulation.  So the inflationary effects of the prior QE and Twist efforts have not really been felt yet.

To me the question is when will the retail masses really start bank runs in earnest.  That's when inflation will break out and a more full abandonment of debt obligations (asset deflation) will also accelerate.

The Deleuzian's picture

Good Lord!!!  Bank runs...That's all we need...That and more Zombie apocalypse TV shows!!!

EasterBunny's picture

If adjustment were made for everything except price, wouldn't this actually mean an inflation adjusted (even using government stats) decline in sales? Maybe I read this wrong....

r101958's picture


Edit: Of course, that is assuming they use real inflation numbers (as opposed to those published by the gov't) and that they actually publish that report.

takinthehighway's picture

According to SurvivalBlog, gun sales were way up on Black Friday.

Maybe the sheeple are starting to wake up...

TSA gropee's picture

To a limited extent probably, but my take is that those non-kool-aid drinkers are realizing more and more that lead is the other precious metal and that their delivery systems probably won't lose value.

John Law Lives's picture

Time for FT to float yet another bailout rumour re. the EU...

SheepDog-One's picture

Rumors now have about a half hour effect? Better save it till 3:30.

kralizec's picture

Ho! Ho!  Oh, &$#@!

Sardonicus's picture

has SWHC or TASR reported sales yet?  That could make a difference. 

Some shoppers may have reallocated their spending after the shootings and mace attacks.

We might be okay yet.

SheepDog-One's picture

And the Wall St media whores are exposed once again. So much for their gushing over the RECORD black Friday nonsense. 

So sorry, it didnt work pump jockeys.

chunga's picture

Is this adjusted to reflect firearm sales? Headline on Yoohoo. This is insane.

U.S. Retail Sales Rise for Sixth Straight Month
therearetoomanyidiots's picture

"Retail sales rose 0.2 percent in November, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. That's lower than October's gain, which was revised higher to show a 0.6 percent increase. Still, more spending on retail goods is the latest sign that the U.S. economy continues to grow at a slow but steady pace.

The report is the government's first read on monthly consumer spending,"


This is the psychotic telling the psychiatrist everything's okay...and the media is the psychiatrist telling the family, everything is okay...and, viola, we have a massacre...

TideFighter's picture

YoY Pepper Spray sales were outstanding. For 2012 Christmas, go long tasers and .380 snubbies (purse size).

Miss Expectations's picture

Then there's the shrinking product phenomonon...Recently noticed that dunkin doughnuts have gotten smaller, the Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce can has gotten shorter, the toilet paper rolls have gotten narrower.

TideFighter's picture

Stop shopping at the mini-mart.

Non Passaran's picture

Great call TD!

It's nice to see last week's hype surrounding the 5am deal unravelling fast as well. Finland is having second thoughts, the UK doesn't seem so "isolated" any more, etc.

Perversely, I've begun to enjoy fake good news - because they always turn out to be well, fake, but without any embarrassment on the side of MSM and political fucks who make them up as they go. Hilarious!

SamAdams1234's picture

Dont worry, Lil' Lindays Graham, McCain and Liberman will have the USA in a Keynsian Warr in IRAN and SYRIA.


MFL8240's picture

More lies from the goverment pupets!  What a fucking clown show!

island's picture

As Howard Davidowitz is quoted in an article on 12/2:

“If you look at the high-end customer, they don’t participate in early rushes,” Davidowitz said. “They ignore it as complete madness. So, nothing that exciting happened (this Black Friday). The hysteria is everywhere and the message is, of course, wrong.”

"At the end of the day, if you want to know ‘How’s business?’ the answer is not so good and that’s the truth.”



Everybodys All American's picture

There is no sustainable recovery and there have been no prosecutions.  Geithner and Bernanke have been failing and yet they remain in their respective positions. More debt, more QE, more media lies, more risk, and larger too big to fails. Now it appears that Obama gets re-elected on failed policy and no accountability. Unbelievable.

island's picture

Couldn't agree more.  The government has been totally captured.  A two party system where people pick the lesser of two evils is just a drawn out trip to hell.  We need to 1. get money and undo influence out of politics, and 2. proportional representation. 

SheepDog-One's picture

LOL 47 inch LED....2 dollars.

PLEEEEEEEZE someone buy our crap we've been stuffing the channel for months, we'll just leave it out back come and TAKE it!

fuu's picture

A Craig's List IPO would solve our problems.

tarsubil's picture

Thank you. Man, things are just getting too f'ing grim for me lately.

Snidley Whipsnae's picture

Banzai... Where is the $29.95 reverse engineered drone aircraft?

karzai_luver's picture

Sams Club members only !




fuu's picture

That's cheaper than those little micro helicopters!

marcusfenix's picture

Obama- "hello is this the Iranian dept of foreign affairs?"

Iran- "yes, who is this?"

Obama- " uh this is president Obama"

Iran- "who?"

Obama- "president Obama from the United States"

Iran- (crickets)

Obama- "ok, well listen it seems that you may have mistakenly taken one for our recreational model airplanes into your possession"

Iran- " we do have one of your top secret, uber high tech, super stealth drones in our possession at this time, yes that is true"

Obama- "no,no I think you misunderstand, it's just a fancy RC car that can fly, something the boys in Afghanistan use during their down time to relax, you know have some fun, it reminds them of home"

Iran- " it has high tech digital recorders and cameras"

Obama- "yeah well...we have some landscape photography nuts, and the scenery is very nice in Afghanistan, lots of...sand and rocks"

Iran- "it has carriages for missiles and bombs"

Obama- "oh, well that's, hunting you know? Americans love to hunt, it's in our DNA"

Iran- " hunting?"

Obama- " yeah you know it's deer hunting season and well, we did want our boys to miss out so..."

Iran- "deer hunting?"

Obama- "yeah, yes..yes"

Iran- " in Afghanistan?"

Obama- "sure"

Iran- "with hellfire missiles?"

Obama- " yeah, well listen, this is all just a big misunderstanding and we are really sorry it strayed into your airspace, so I was wondering, could you maybe send it back, we'll happy to pay for shipping?"

Iran- (unintelligible shouting in Arabic, but obviously cursing in stunned disbelief)

Obama- "um, hello?"

Iran- " I'm sorry but I do not believe that will be possible at this time"

Obama- "oh well, could you maybe blow it up then? maybe you could invite the Swiss ambassador to watch, he umm, likes to watch things...explode"

Iran- "no" (click)

Obama- "oh well, at least I tried, now where is that report written by Donald Rumsfeld ten years ago that proves beyond a shadow of any doubt that Iran has a fully working version of the bomb? ahh there it is, now then we'll just change the date to today, and the authors name to...ahh...somebody from the IAEA and viloa'... hmm I wonder if I will squeeze another nobel peace prize out of this?"