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« November 2008 | Main | January 2009 »

December 01, 2008

So, Thanksgiving Weekend Retail Sales Did Grow This Year...

After several weeks of drive-by media hand-wringing over the forthcoming collapse of retail sales this Christmas season, starting with Black Friday, the numbers are in. And, as usual, the drive-by media was wrong.

The Washington Post reports this morning that retail sales actually grew 3% over last year's figures to $10.6 billion (Holiday Weekend Shopping Grew Despite Weak Economy, Reports Show). While lower than last year's increase of 8.3% over 2006, it still represents a significant increase - especially when one considers that everyone was predicting a decrease.

Oh, and there's more good news:

Meanwhile, the National Retail Federation, a trade group, said yesterday that about 172 million people have shopped in stores or online since Thursday, spending an average of $372.57 per person for a total of roughly $41 billion. That's a 7.2 percent increase over the same weekend last year, when about 147 million shoppers spent $347.55 per person.

"I would say people were putting off a lot of purchases, waiting for the best deals, knowing that retailers would obviously reward them," said Scott Krugman, NRF spokesman.

That's the bottom line - consumers are going to shop smart this year. They knew that because of the 'panic' over the economy and retail sales, retailers were going to have to offer deep, deep discounts the closer Christmas got.

It's the same reason why I'm going to do most of my shopping starting next week.