Monday, December 7, 2009


The fact that people aren't spending much for Christmas this year comes as no surprise. Just driving around and looking at the parking lots tells the tale. We went to K-Mart yesterday, less than three weeks from Christmas, and the lot wasn't even half full. The people were buying in small quantities and looking for bargains.

The other stores we passed seemed to be about the same. It really doesn't feel any different than shopping during the rest of the year.

Retailers may see a slight increase in revenue but they are going to take a bad hit on the bottom line. I suspect that after the holidays we are going to see a bunch of retail stores close up, which of course will further impact the already struggling commercial banking problems.

I say, "Buckle up." 2010 is going to be a bumpy ride.

"The returns on Black Friday are in, and they bring new meaning to the term. Spending per person over the key retail weekend was down 8% from 2008, in spite of increased traffic, as shoppers were scouring for bargains rather than seeking to increase gift spending. The increased traffic helped to increase overall spending by 0.5%. The primary beneficiaries were the big-box retailers, but profits will be squeezed as the sales were driven by deep discounts. But even chains like Costco and JCPenney saw weaker sales. Same-store sales overall were down 0.3% for the month of November vs. 2008. A short holiday shopping season this year will also likely reduced sales for the period."


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