“Despite dire predictions from many analysts and much of the media,” said Brian Sullivan in Fox Business online, “Americans actually went shopping this weekend,” and in greater numbers than last year. According to National Retail Federation estimates, 172 million U.S. shoppers hit the stores Thanksgiving weekend and spent $372.57 each. We are a “shopping culture,” even in bad times, and we don’t “drop off a retail cliff” very often.
Alright, there was a “slight improvement” in retail sales, said Douglas McIntyre in BloggingStocks, but because the sales were based on deep discounts, “that may not mean much to retailer bottom lines.” Losing money on every sale is a “sucker play,” as shareholders will find out, and you can’t make up losses on volume.
The fact that spending isn’t down, said Justin Fox in Time online, could be “a sign that things aren’t nearly as bad as many (myself included) thought.” After all, while spending on cars and big-ticket home goods is down, people are “still headed for the Wal-Mart.” But the healthy shopping figures could also mean that “when everybody wakes up" in January, “things will really go off a cliff.”
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
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- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- In Ferguson, Michael Brown lost his life — and America's police lost the benefit of the doubt
- Republicans love this new health care plan. Too bad it's basically a tax cut for the rich.
- In defense of Gwyneth Paltrow
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 17 old proverbs we should use more often
- Chuck Hagel wasn't the problem. It's America's addiction to endless war.
- 8 tricks to surviving the holidays without gaining weight or being grouchy
- 10 classic Sesame Street moments we wouldn't show today's kids
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