On Black Friday I turned on the local news and watched the reports about the shoppers lining up to spend their hard earned money. Before the stores opened there were 10,000 people waiting to get into the mall at 4:00AM! There were lines around the block for stores like Best Buy and Toys R Us. One local mall was so packed that created a traffic jam on the highway for miles.
But despite the crowds and the people walking by with huge bags in their hands, the reporters wanted us to buy the fact that people are spending less money on Christmas because the economy is so bad and the gas prices are so high. People with huge shopping bags would say things like, "Yeah, since gas prices are so high, I'll be shopping less this year." But what is less? They sold out of Sony Vaios at $399, the Compaqs at $299, even a $699 Toshiba was sold out. They were selling out of big screen HDTVs costing thousands of dollars. If the economy was so bad, then people could not afford to pay even the discounted prices.
The newscasters were also pushing the idea that since the economy is bad the retailers are expecting sluggish sales this year. As we're watching people jam the malls and the stores at 4:00 in the morning and walking out with large ticket items, they're saying this anyway. Can't get away from their script obviously.
And now more proof that the economy must not be as bad as everyone thinks:
U.S. online shoppers spent a record $733 million in a single day on "Cyber Monday," according to market research firm comScore Inc.
Cyber Monday is the first Monday after Thanksgiving and is considered the start of the online holiday shopping season when consumers return to work and seek deals not found in bricks and mortar retailers.
The spend was 21 percent up on the same day last year, according to comScore.
The number of online buyers rose 38 percent from a year ago while the average dollar spend per buyer slipped 12 percent partly due to deep discounting.