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Are you buying the narrative Black Friday this year was a success?

Curious if you guys are buying into the narrative that Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year was a success? Retail organizations and the media are all saying numbers are up 2% over previous years making this the biggest Black Friday ever, today they revised that down to 1% and some change. I’ve seen articles and data put out by Adobe the same data being quoted this year making Black Friday such a success stating this year was 9 Billion but I saw Adobe reporting in previous years numbers as high as 14 Billion, 10.4 Billion, etc.

Just anecdotally speaking most people I know seem to think deals were lackluster. Most people I know spoke about how empty the roads were and how empty stores were. Personally driving around Black Friday reminded me of lockdowns there was nobody on the road. Had to pop into a Walmart to get headphones and decided I’d drive by and see how bad the crowds were, to my surprise parking lot was empty and so was the store. Later in the evening went to the same parking lot the mall is in to grab some Ramen and the mall was empty. Many big Black Friday shoppers I know weren’t bothering to go out this year or were going to get one item but werne’t very excited. A cousin of mine who went shopping commented it was “creepy” how empty things were and they apparently had a little chat with a cashier asking if they were busy, cashier said they made them come in at 4am but first customer didn’t show up until almost 11.

Also accounting for inflation if you imagine that the same amount of shoppers went out and bought the same amount of items with 9% inflation that the fed states we have we’d expect to see sales numbers 9% higher, at 2% higher it means we actually lost 7% of sales over last year or previous years. If you don’t buy the feds inflation rate and think its closer to 20% for example that would mean an 18% drop this year. Me personally I was able to do about 5k more than last year but the size of my email list and SMS list both doubled over last year so I was barely able to squeak out an extra 5k with double the people to market to.

What’s your take, was this years Black Friday sales the huge success the media is making it out to be or a flop? As far as why they (media and retail organizations) would like people are sheep and follow the herd. If you hear people are shopping you get fomo and shop, if you hear people are saving money and are worried about money you’ll be worried about money too. My take is it wasn’t a complete disaster but sales were likely down 10% or more over previous years.

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