November 24, 2007

NOTHING COSTS MORE...:

On Black Friday, Shoppers Display Pragmatic Restraint (MICHAEL BARBARO, 11/23/07, NY Times)

With an uncertain economy, a slowdown in the housing market and high gas prices hanging over their heads, consumers flocked to discount chains like Wal-Mart, Target and Best Buy, brandishing bargain-filled fliers. [...]

This year, stores managed to draw huge crowds again, but the mood was more desperation than celebration.

Stores left nothing to chance, opening their doors before dawn and cutting prices deeply enough to guarantee throngs of bargain hunters.

Two major chains, J. C. Penney and Kohl’s, pushed their openings up an hour, to 4 a.m., and dangled half-off sales and $10 coupons. Toys “R” Us nearly quadrupled the number of door-buster discounts it offers, to 101.

And Wal-Mart extended its Black Friday specials into Saturday, calling it a “48-hour sale.” (In a publicity stunt, the company bragged that it had even petitioned the Royal Observatory in London to create a 48-hour Friday.)

Rather than buying on impulse, consumers drew elaborate shopping plans to track down steep discounts — and stuck to them. [...]

A final tally from yesterday’s sales will not be available until tomorrow, at the very earliest. MasterCard Spending Pulse, a division of the credit card company, predicted sales this Black Friday would rise up to 5 percent, to about $20 billion, from $19.1 billion in 2006.

That growth, however, comes with caveats. Shoppers might have spent more this year than last, but they bought deeply discounted items that generate little profit.


So we'll spend more and get more for our dollar? Damn that George Bush....

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 24, 2007 12:02 AM
Comments

And the NYT share price slides down to about $17.00.....

Posted by: ratbert at November 24, 2007 1:57 AM

"but they bought deeply discounted items that generate little profit"

Note to plutocratic capitalist oppressors: You're doing it wrong.

Posted by: Bob Hawkins at November 24, 2007 9:50 AM
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