Neither Rain Nor Snow Nor Being Broke Could Keep the American Consumer Away

Does anyone actually believe this? Either America is stupider than I suspect (a likely scenario) or they're lying through their teeth, and it is likely a combination of the two. Did you really just do what I think you did, America? I'm ashamed.

Full disclosure: JDA blew a couple hundred in a few hours and got all her Christmas shopping done in a day. Even fuller disclosure: JDA has a steady income and rents a home that is not in foreclosure.


U.S. retail sales rose in the week before Christmas as shoppers hurried to finish their gift-buying, putting holiday sales on track to hit the high end of estimates, according to data released on Tuesday by the International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs.

Retail sales rose 4.8 percent for the week ended December 25 compared to the year-earlier period, helped in part by shoppers who could shop all day on Christmas Eve, which was a day off for many given that Christmas fell on a Saturday this year.

The ICSC and Goldman Sachs said retail sales in November and December were on track to rise 4 percent compared to a year ago. Two weeks ago, on the basis of strong November sales, they raised their forecast to a rise of between 3.5 percent and 4 percent for the holiday season.

That forecast includes the effect of the snowstorm that slammed U.S. Northeastern states this week and kept shoppers away from storms.

The ICSC's chief economist told Reuters the blizzard could lower December sales' increase by half of one percentage point but said it may simply delay some purchases into January.

The East Coast got hammered and the news actually had the nerve to say this put a huge dent in retail's year end rally, as if a single snow storm can really kill that kind of wild frenzy. Who the fuck doesn't shop online?

Keep trying, TPTB, keep trying.

And America, if you really did this I swear to God I'm not talking to you for a year.

Wait a second, what's this about consumer confidence taking a sudden and unexpected plunge in December? Surely that's a misprint.

Jr Deputy Accountant

Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard.


Paul said...

Dead cat bounch. Every one has waited so long for the other shoe to drop they went out an spent instead.

I guarantee you that's what happened... people have been holding off on getting things they want/need all year and cashed in on retail's desperation. Hell, I did it. I'm not above taking advantage of someone else's misfortune, especially when that someone is a giant retail outlet desperate for my cash.

Anonymous said...

"Either America is stupider than I suspect (a likely scenario)" - JDA

"You can never underestimate the stupidity of the of the general public." Scott Adams, (American Cartoonist, b.1957)

"The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter." - Winston Churchill

It was stupidity & "lemmingesque" activity that got us into this mess and it is stupidity & "lemmingesque" activity that will lead us out.

The Idiot is dead!!!! Long Live the Idiot!!!!


W.C. Varones said...

Does buying gold, guns, and ammo count as consumer shopping?

'Cause then that was probably me.

Anonymous said...

You make me laugh everyday. Not like at you hahaha. But just in general hahaha. Nothing like a little laughter along with the eotwawki.

Thanks JPD.

Anonymous said...

I forgot to go Christmas shopping. Sorry mom.

malus Diaz said...

Toys are us was EXTREMELY well stocked... for after x-mas.

Has anyone else noticed stores (as in grocery) are not stocking things? Ours is always half out of milk, bread, pretty much everything.

The manager told my landlord that "we no longer stock things in ones" meaning the grocery store is now pulling a Costco and will only stock items they can sell shit tons of.

If I wanted a box store, I'd shop at Costco WTF

I'm not sure it's the same, but I've noticed a lot of gaps in the shelves. Something sells out -- coupon special, panic, lazy management, whatever -- and the shelves sit empty for the week. Kinda like it was behind the Iron Curtain. How's that for encouraging?

I admit it... I did my holiday shopping late, but it sure did feel good because I went all out this year!

And I didn't go to some discount store, I went top-of-the-line, brand central, the kind that carries the expensive cheeses and kumquats, and all that sort of thing.

Sure, I bought a few things that many would consider necessities, but I bought ahead of needing them, which felt luxurious.

For example, I didn't need deodorant/anti-perspirant, I still had a couple of weeks worth of Mitchum at home. But I didn't care... I shopped with reckless abandon and bought a new one anyway... and not the regular size either... I went ahead and sprang for the tall one.

I started in fruits & vegies, and headed straight for the pomegranate juice. Hang the expense, I thought, as I picked up the large bottle of the magical elixir. Seeing the price, $12.99, I hesitated, and for a moment I thought I'd better go for the $8.99 bottle, but then I realized... heck no! It's Christmas!

From there I sauntered over the the berries. Sure, I was nervous... who wouldn't be? I mean, I usually don't even go within 10 feet of them, but this time I walked right up, picked up a container of blueberries and threw it right into my cart. Hah! I thought to myself. But I didn't even stop there... yes, blackberries too! I almost went for the raspberries trifecta, but I saw the $6.99 price and slowly backed away from the display. You can't always get what you want, as the man once said.

When I got to dairy and saw the egg nog... straight to the half gallon size, no hesitation whatsoever. I know, times are tough, but you have to treat yourself once and a while.

Oh, and wait till I tell you about the pasta. I bought the large size raviolis in the refrigerated section AND the matching sauce! I know what you're thinking... No you did not! But, it's true... I did.

And meats... I bought one of those corned beef briskets, and I picked out the most expensive one in the store... $11.97! So, how do you like me now? I was thinking at the time.

Cookies? Pepperidge Farm, baby. And not just the small bag, but the "Entertainer" box size. Girl, I haven't had my hands on one of those in going on a decade, and I have to say that it felt so good that I almost took my cart around the store an extra time just to show them off to my fellow shoppers.

I will admit that I chickened out when it came to the bottled water. I had my hands on the Fiji stuff, but come on... I know I don't deserve to drink water that costs that much. But I noticed the Smart Water was on sale, so at least I got water that's smart. Oh, and I bout four bottles of the stuff, in case you were thinking: "Big deal, he probably only bought one."

Yep, when I walked out of that store the morning of Christmas Eve, I felt like Ebenezer Scrooge on Christmas morning, carrying that giant goose to the Cratchit's house to see Tiny Tim. Is this a great country or what?

That's why I wasn't surprised to see record sales this year. And I haven't checked, but I'd bet housing has rebounded, inflation is low, the dollar is stronger than ever, manufacturing is flying high, and unemployment has dropped by a point and a half since Thanksgiving.

And I know interest rates are the lowest they've been in what... 1,000 years, which is nice for people with a 900 FICO score putting 60% down.

Yep, it's right around the corner, JDA... the recovery, that is. Don't bet against America, don't be a doom & gloomer, and don't be part of the 'blame-America-first' crowd. Soon we'll all be singing: Happy Days are Here Again.

U.S.A! U.S.A!

It's almost 2011 and all I see are buying signals. This is when fortunes can be made by the common man. A chicken in every pot, don't you know!

As they would say on the Left Bank: Laissez les bon temps roulez!

Love you!

Mandelman Matters

Martin Andelman said...

P.S. Oh, one more thing...

I'm not sure if this means anything or not, but about holiday retail activity in stores like Nordstrom... well, I live in Southern California... Orange County... the O.C. if that helps, and I took some photos of the Nordstom in South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa, on the day before Christmas at around 7-8 PM... which I would think is one of the top shopping spots in all the land at the prime time for last day shoppers. IT WAS EMPTY. No, I don't mean traffic was sparse... I mean I could have brought a friend with me and we could have played badminton in Women's Shoes, or set up croquet in Children's Clothes. There was almost no one in the store.

I'll email them to you later...

Anonymous said...

Hey Martin

It was empty because it was Christmas Eve and they closed at 6pm, you numbnuts!