I stayed in for Black Friday. The shopping surveys say Black Friday sales were up 0.3% over last year, almost two percent below the inflation rate. Call it a real 2% drop for talking purposes, with the proviso that the shopping surveys usually correct their estimates after a few weeks.
I had to get out to the nearest Bentonville Behemoth big box store and stock up on food. The help outnumbered the customers at 9:30 this morning, and the checkout line wound back to the men’s department. Line. As in one.
I had to drive by two malls around ten and both malls parking lot were largely vacant.
This afternoon, I drove up to the gun show, where there was plenty of customer parking. Attendance reminded me of the last two years of the Carter presidency. Quite a few people walking around looking, but not much money changing hands.
We shall see what we shall see but I think this is going to be a very slow Christmas for retailers.