Black Friday - More, But Less

black friday salesWe have seen the finish of yet another wild "Black Friday" weekend. Retailers were hoping for a sign of light at the end of the tunnel with the weekend sales performance. Thus far, results were not as good as many were hoping for. Sales slightly increased as a whole, but the estimated spending per person was lower than last year. Also, when breaking down the numbers, most of the sales were found in the big ticket "door buster" items, and much less in the standard inventory. In fact, very little brand loyalty was found in this year's ambush, as consumers were clearly looking for the best bargains. Wal-Mart's Sanyo 50" flat screen for under $600, was one of the favorites of the weekend.

Black Friday (and most of December) is the glory days for retail. A weakening spending per consumer is not necessarily a good sign. Sure, fundamentally, it is better that consumers are spending less and saving more. However, for the sake of a stronger economic recovery, it has adverse effects.

I spent the early mornings of Black Friday in the major big box retailers. As always, there were a lot of people. However, I did notice the large amount of "Looky Lou's" that were present, who were not pulling out their credit cards. Also, it looked as though holiday gifts were the main purchases for this last Black Friday. Retailers are hoping that consumers did not get most or all of their holiday shopping done this past weekend, because many are expecting a very strong December to break even.

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We are entering into holiday volume at this point, which becomes very vulnerable to big market movers and manipulation. I expect to see (as we did last year) big moves in opening and closing minutes, with a fairly mellow mid day trading pattern. 2010 still bears some big pot holes for many companies, and will be a very trying year for many businesses. If the government begins to start letting things unfold naturally, we could be in for quite a shock. Happy Trading.



    Friday ends the week.