Did you somehow miss the extensive Black Friday coverage on your local news stations this holiday? Were you napping, working, waiting for us to weigh in, to let you know what you missed and what it means for the economy and the American Way Of Life, terrorists winning etc. etc.? Well...
Europeans showed up in force. I remember when I lived in Hong Kong and British women would always come through with massive bags they planned to fill with dirt-cheap designer (and "designer") merchandise. I would always tell the women, "I'm sorry, it's not like it used to be; it's just not that easy getting a bargain here anymore. Perhaps there's a new country stocked with the excess of Chinese overproduction where you can take advantage of your purchasing power? Well guess what! That country is US. According to the Wall Street Journal:
"An enormous number of Europeans" flocked to Saks Fifth Avenue's New York flagship, according to Ron Frasch, president and chief merchandising officer. At Saks locations around the country, sales were brisk throughout the weekend, he added. Hot categories included jewelry, all types of men's apparel, which Mr. Frasch said showed "very, very strong" sales, and women's "modern" brands.
But all was not well over in the home improvement department:
In Houston, heavy rains Saturday kept crowds moderate. At a Houston Wal-Mart, a clerk pointed to a leftover $50 rolling tool chest and cabinet as an example of the weekend's tepid turnout. The Stanley tool chests were among the weekend specials that are often scooped up early Friday morning.
Because the denizens of the heartland finally started listening to the gospel of Reverend Billy's Church Of No Shopping? Or because they were otherwise occupied holding on to their homes? Like the Harrimans of Long Island.
In September, Ms. Harriman finally got her pension. John, 38, started working a second job three mornings a week as a stock clerk at A.C. Moore crafts store. But just as they felt they were catching up, their mortgage interest rate jumped to 8%. This month it rose by two and a half points — an increase of $800 a month."My husband was real down that there will be nothing under the tree this year," Ms. Harriman says. But, "it makes me want to work harder to get back to live my life normally again. It is a reminder and an incentive."
Which is why the market sold off again today. But not so the handbag market!
At Chicago Premium Outlets in suburban Aurora, Ill., the line of cars backed up onto the highway as customers waited to secure one of the last available parking spots before the mall's midnight opening. Inside, hundreds waited outside the Coach store, which was offering an extra 20% discount to early birds."We're shopping for ourselves tonight," said 23-year-old Linden Murdie, of Manhattan, Ill. She, her sister and mother had won the first place in line at Coach by arriving at 6:45 p.m., having polished off their Thanksgiving dinner around noon.
Jesus. I know you're not supposed to eat carbs after six p.m. if you can help it, but polishing off Thanksgiving dinner at noon seems just a tiny bit excessive, no?