Black Friday Sales Buoyed by 'Blessed' Cold Weather

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The media is working over time to give retailers good press, seeing that they're all but destroyed now. Long stories filled with anecdotal quotes from store managers litter the internet today, exclaiming the virtues being able to touch and feel items on sale, as opposed to merely buying them via Amazon. Who does that anyway, buy items online? Poppycock. According to all media reports, retailers are back to banking coin again. But don't tell the shareholders of M, JCP or SHLD, whose stock values have dropped by more than 40% for 2017. I'll have you know, the cold weather in the northeast has 'blessed' them and people are throwing sharp elbows at each other with the hopes of being able to snag a discounted coat or two, maybe a sweater.

A Macy's spokeswoman later confirmed that more than 16,000 people were lined up outside the Herald Square store before it opened Thursday evening. By 7 a.m. Friday, Macy's had already sold 200,000 coats, and was on track to sell more than 1 million coats, sweaters and fleece jackets by the end of the weekend.   The Northeast has been "blessed ... with cold weather," Gennette told CNBC.

  Despite all of this 'touch and feel' nonsense, online sales continue to surge, slowly but surely designating department stores as showcases for Amazon.  

Black Friday online spending was a record $5.03 billion, up 16.9 percent over last year, according to Adobe Systems Inc. Much of that shopping is now occurring on phones, with mobile devices accounting for 54 percent of visits. Adobe said it expects Cyber Monday to be the biggest online shopping day in history, with $6.6 billion in predicted sales, a 16.5 percent increase over 2016.

The media headlines cannot give the brick and mortar retailers enough praise. Here are two wonderful headlines from CNBC and Bloomberg, one featuring what looks like my neighbor. And physical store traffic looks to be down anywhere from 4-6%.  

Physical-store traffic, meanwhile, was down 4 percent to 6 percent, Cowen & Co. analyst Oliver Chen estimates.   Retailers have tried to avoid becoming showrooms for Amazon, meaning customers look at products in their stores and then buy it from the e-commerce giant. To keep shoppers from straying, Wal-Mart and others have pumped billions into their web operations.   Sights and Sounds   Macy’s overhauled its rewards program, aiming to keep consumers loyal regardless of whether they’re online or off. A customer who shells out at least $500 a year gets free shipping and 25 percent off a day of shopping.   But the 159-year-old chain also is touting its traditional retail experience as a way to hook shoppers.   “Customers today want to go to a store -- the sights, the smells, the sounds,” Chief Executive Officer Jeff Gennette said in an interview Friday.   Some retailers have more of an uphill battle. Sears Holdings Corp. saw same-store sales fall 17 percent at its flagship chain last quarter and 13 percent at its Kmart brand.   At a Sears in upstate New York, a quiet store greeted 47-year-old Nadine Charles on Friday. She’s been a regular Sears customer for years, but feels like the selection has gone downhill.   “I don’t find anything good anymore at Sears,” said Charles, a nurse with four children. “They don’t have good brands. Now I can buy things in Wal-Mart -- they are cheaper and last longer.”



techpriest RightLineBacker Sun, 11/26/2017 - 18:04 Permalink

Let's put the BTC aside for a moment and look at the article: They use the example of stores becoming "Amazon Showrooms" because the main advantage Amazon has is that Amazon is not the store. Amazon is a clearing house with stores registering on one side, and consumers being able to comparison shop every online store in the Amazon clearing house at once. The other big names doing this would be Etsy, Ebay, and Alibaba, with many more after that.

Where retail is going to have a hard time, to the end for some, is that they are competing against a flea market that you can access from your house. IMO the only way malls have any chance is to dramatically lower rents and permit local/more unusual products in, which would be hard to find online. Alternatively, as a developer I'm looking more into the question of how to do an "online flea market" where you are specifically shopping your local area.

In reply to by RightLineBacker

Twee Surgeon Sun, 11/26/2017 - 02:00 Permalink

Blessed with Cold Weather seems to be an Historical falsehood, but to the point of coin or Bit-Coin or anything else, I do believe we are forgetting how fast things can just turn around and get out of hand, I would certainly want some Cash around if an event like the Video I will be linking to were to take place in the UK again, or the USA and it might point to the wisdom of having some Preparations in place. Take a look at what happened in1963 that I did not know about until today. With increased Volcanic, Seismic, Tornado, Hurricane or whatever Social Unrest..... Things can get weird and harsh, very fast and out of the blue.Prepped, prepping or thinking about prepping, this video is worth your consideration. big freeze of 1963.

ThrowAwayYourTV Twee Surgeon Sun, 11/26/2017 - 07:03 Permalink

The cities are a cancer to the planet. Only reason they exist is because theres money there. They offer nothing else to the world besides destruction so they can keep the lights on and offices warm so they can send out bills.Without the city most people could generate enough electricity to live comfortable on their own. No need to light a million signs and street lights just to sucker people in to spend money on useless shit.This is the stupidest economy in the universe. Destroy everything around you for shit you dont need to keep a few lazy people living better than the rest. WTF? Humans are retarded at birth.

In reply to by Twee Surgeon

ThrowAwayYourTV Sun, 11/26/2017 - 06:56 Permalink

LoL! I came home from work on friday and told the wiff, "I'm not going anywhere near a store, send me a link and I'll pay for it. She sent me a link for something on Amazon and I ordered it on Sat morn. It will be here on Monday.I'm not wasting my time at the people zoo watching wobblers lean over a shopping carriage, tossing things in air and spitting on each other. 

Ban KKiller Sun, 11/26/2017 - 07:51 Permalink

Yeah, need two complete front strut assemblies. Wanted to touch and smell them. Nope, bought online but not Amazon. Do not take hallucinogens and stroll Walmart. 

Cautiously Pes… Sun, 11/26/2017 - 09:06 Permalink

The only mall that I stepped foot in, over the Black Friday weekend, had warning signs all over the place about NO FIREARMS ALLOWED per city ordinance #blah, blah, blah.  Last year at this same mall, there was a shooting, so I was packing of course.  While walking around, I only saw two armed policemen and two unarmed mall security people.  I am assuming there were plain clothes officers mulling about as well, but there is NO WAY I am putting my life in their hands.  The criminals pay no attention to the warning signs, so why would I?   

Dr_Snooz Sun, 11/26/2017 - 11:11 Permalink

For the last number of years, we've had to watch reports of brawls, fist fights, shootings and other spectacles of people behaving like hooligans and thugs every Black Friday. Some media outlets have speculated that the retailers encourage this kind of thing to get in the news. At the least, we know they do nothing to stop it. Sadly, now the only people who want to go to the store are the hooligans, thugs and shoplifters. Nice work retailers! And for you dimwits shopping at Amazon, enjoy your great deals now because when Bezos secures his monopoly, you're going to wish you could go to a store and get shot instead. Remember when you thought those deals at Wal-Mart were great? How'd that work out for you? How stupid are people to keep falling for the same con over and over and over again. You deserve what's coming. 

2Blondboys Dr_Snooz Sun, 11/26/2017 - 14:19 Permalink

I live rural. We have a mall, and I do shop there, but the stores keep disappearing. I am running out of options to buy local. I am forced to buy through Amazon. It isn’t even about price, it is about getting the item I need. I order a speciality kitchen item on Thursday night and it was on my porch Sat morning.

In reply to by Dr_Snooz

Rubbish Sun, 11/26/2017 - 11:27 Permalink

I did my part, 2 six year old comps were dying so office depot gave me 2 new HP Slims W10 8G ram 3.2 ghz amd9 with 1 tb for $279 ea. One is strictly for printer work stuff no internet, maybe some one person games, other wife can destroy with all sorts of malware. Were both ready to give up on the internet for good. Big 5 gave me (2) remington 525 .22lr for $25 ea, stocked up with Cabelas 300 rd xmas .22lr. A pair of 4E Reeboks and done and done till next year. Gold Bitchez......I pick up pennies

snblitz Sun, 11/26/2017 - 12:39 Permalink

I buy nearly everything online and when I want to waste my time I drive to local stores just to find they do not have the item in stock.

Recently failures:

• 3/8" brass street elbow sold out at two Home Depots
• garlic powder at Smart & Final
• Turkey Gravy at Trader Joes

captain whitewater Sun, 11/26/2017 - 17:24 Permalink

I don't shop in any malls here in Reno.  I also don't ever knowingly buy anything from the Bezos prick at Amazon.  I buy on ebay and have lots of purchases arrive saying ""  Translation:  Amazon isn't where American shops.  Ebay is that place. Amazon wishes they were ebay.  For the last 19 years I have used for 99% of my stuff.  Amazon is a joke and a bubble with no upside.

Solio Sun, 11/26/2017 - 18:33 Permalink

I walked in the forest down by the river and couldn't find any hallucinogens, but I did find an old ball peen hammer so I could bang that AI robot.

everything1 Sun, 11/26/2017 - 18:36 Permalink

I avoid any kind of rush, to many people spreading germs.  I price shop too, but their is little I need anymore, garage sale and used stores are plenty.  The online flea market is using craigslist, it works, it's just slow.  I have a few items I'm putting up again as I just helped someone clean out their garage.