Sunday, November 28, 2004

Fewer shoppers this weekend?

It snowed all day yesterday; a big wet sloppy snow. Not the kind of snow you want to drive in. But I ventured out to the shopping centers nevertheless.

I don't like Christmas shopping. I don't care for the pressure to check off purchases on my shopping list, and I really, really don't care for the crowds. But risking a panic attack, I actually entered the mall yesterday, and while it certainly was crowded, I didn't think it was all that bad. Now I don't think my aversion to crowds has lessened, so I can only conclude that the number of Christmas shoppers had lessened--and on this, the big pre-Christmas shopping weekend.

I doubt the low number of shoppers was due to this, and I can't imagine that a little sloppy snow would dissuade Wisconsinites.

The National Retail Federation estimates that 130 million shoppers would descend on stores last Friday and projects a 4.5 percent increase in retail sales for the November/December period. But that's a smaller gain than last year. And Wal-Mart reports weaker-than-expected sales for November. Hey, I guess there hasn't been a mass exodus from Target to Wal-Mart after all.

The world's largest retailer estimated that the month's sales at U.S. stores open at least a year would be 0.7 percent higher than last November, well below the 2-to-4 percent range that the company had said it expected last week.

The new projection was based on four weeks' worth of sales, from Oct. 30 through Friday, the company said in a statement on its Web site.

"Sales fell below plan this past week, which impacted the results of our November forecast," the statement said. "Keep in mind that this past week was the largest week of the reporting period."

Remember, folks, we are the economy. Spending is good. (And since I'm planning to spend less this year, I'm counting on the rest of you to do your part. If it'll help, you can buy stuff for me.)


At 10:34 PM, Blogger Jib said...

Mrs. Jib and I have already spent more than last year, so we'll cancel out your decrease.

At 10:58 PM, Blogger Drew said...

What did you buy me?


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