“Crowds? I see nothing. I’m surprised,” retail worker Jeremy Pritchett told FOX 2.
“Normally, it’s wrapped all the way around the building. Today: no one.”
That’s the typical ground report from areas all over the country. No one, literally almost no one, is doing any holiday shopping and the traditional Black Friday rush to get deals and discounts just didn’t happen. Financial media are scratching their puzzlers, perplexed with furrowed brows.
Interestingly, almost every financial media outlet is using the same Retail Federation talking point about anticipating an 8% increase in holiday sales this year. Apparently, pretenses must be maintained. Meanwhile, news crews and camera crews are having a desperate time finding any holiday shopping to use as background footage for the claims that sales are strong.
“Look, over there. There’s a person buying something. Oh, wait, no, that’s just an employee dusting the empty cash register.” At a certain point, one would have to believe reality would run head-first into the mass delusional pretending. Maybe this holiday season will be it, maybe not.
Reuters – […] About 166 million people were planning to shop from Thursday’s Thanksgiving holiday through this coming “Cyber Monday,” according to the National Retail Federation, almost 8 million more than last year. But with sporadic rain in some parts of the country, stores were less busy than usual on Black Friday.
“Usually at this time of the year you struggle to find parking. This year, I haven’t had an issue getting a parking spot,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry adviser of the NPD Group Inc.
Black Friday Has Gotten Out Of Control pic.twitter.com/AzhL3rFnas
— Steve Inman (@SteveInmanUIC) November 26, 2022
“It’s a lot of social shopping, everybody is only looking to get what they need. There is no sense of urgency,” Cohen added, based on his store checks in New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia.
At the American Dream mall in East Rutherford, New Jersey, there were no lines outside stores. A Toys ‘R’ Us employee was handing out flyers with a list of the Black Friday “door buster” promotions. (read more)
It’s almost Kafkaesque to see how the media are continuing to maintain economic pretenses, yet the reality of a completely collapsed consumer economy is physically staring them in the face.
(Bloomberg) – Activity Light at One San Francisco Mall (4:40 p.m.) – At the Stonestown mall in San Francisco, shoppers were few and far between. The Target and Zara stores were mostly empty, and there was no line for the mall’s Santa Claus. Uniqlo and Apple were the busiest locations, but they still weren’t crowded.
Crowds were thin in the late morning at the Stamford Town Center mall. Kay Jeweler, empty. Safavieh, empty. Only a couple of people waited at the checkout line at Forever 21 and just a few were in line for a purchase at Barnes & Noble.
At a Target store on Chicago’s North Side, the parking lot was barely half full at about 9 a.m. local time. Shoppers were greeted with $3 ornaments and discounted Christmas trees when entering, and the store seemed calm and relatively quiet.
The Macy’s in Stamford, Connecticut, was neat and orderly — maybe a little too neat and orderly on a day associated with shopping chaos. The furniture section was nearly deserted, though there were more shoppers looking at shoes. (read more)