Economic gloom hasn't plundered the stockings of US online retailers nearly as much as some had been expecting. In fact, online sales were up on Black Friday, the traditional start of the US holiday shopping season — but just barely. E-beancounting firm ComScore reports online retail sales on Black Friday were $534m, an increase …
Forget the traditional indicators
When the variables change then the indicators lose their meaning.
November sales down but Black Friday sales up. Anyone surprised? I'm not. When times are tight, people will look for better bargains. People held back their purchasing until Black Friday to get a better deal. This sucks for retailers. Their small gains on lower margin sales will not compensate for larger drop on bigger margin sales.
Same deal for Cyber Monday. People will spend when they think they can get good value and won't spend at other times.
All I was buying was some tea, but I waited until Friday because -- wait for it -- I got a discount and free shipping.
I'm seriously bummed that I can't afford a new computer, even at discount.
Christmas comes late
Christmas shopping this year will be late, it may even be the twelve days of Christmas, how traditional.
A lot of retailers are not dropping their price, well not until Christmas is over, so if you want presents then the price shown is the price you will probably pay if you want it as a Christmas gift.
Deflation will occur over the essentials of life not the luxuries, and gifts are luxuries by definition. So, expect some cost cutting from the food shops, but not the present shops.
The VAT cut, was a joke, done in very poor taste, it was quite a divisive move, making shoppers think they would get the full benefit, but of course it costs to relabel, and it is not 2.5% off the current price, and if you are being fair you split between the retailer and the customer, which is something like 1% off price.
Anyone else suspect that VAT cuts are just a way of improving the carousel fraud figures?
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