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Holiday Shopping Season Disappoints: Causes And Consequences [Worst Since ' 08; BO's First Campaign]
seeking alpha ^ | 12/28/12 | Colin Lokey

Posted on 12/31/2012 6:47:37 AM PST by SoFloFreeper

In an article published on September 20, I noted that analysts seemed to be putting quite a bit of faith in the U.S. consumer's willingness and ability to boost the economy in the fourth quarter. Specifically, consensus estimates showed revenue growth for consumer discretionary names outpacing topline growth for the S&P 500 as a whole by more than 3 to 1. I suggested that underpinning the outlook for consumer discretionary names were unrealistic expectations regarding the efficacy of QE3 at producing the so-called "wealth effect."

Ultimately, I made the following prediction of my own:

...the post-QE rally has historically lasted around six weeks. This would put the rally ending just around the election and just in time for both the holiday season to disappoint in terms of the consumer coming to the rescue and the fiscal cliff debate to take center stage.

Without putting too fine a point on it, it would certainly appear that I was mostly correct. The market sold-off sharply post election, the fiscal cliff has indeed taken center stage, causing quite an unpleasant commotion, and now it appears the holiday shopping season was a spectacular disappointment.

(Excerpt) Read more at m.seekingalpha.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: jobs; taxes
A fact the media has all but IGNORED is that 2012 was the worst shopping season since....wait for it.....2008. Gee, what did those two shopping seasons have in common....

How about depressed shoppers knowing they face 4 more years of an anti-capitalist occupying the White House?

1 posted on 12/31/2012 6:47:48 AM PST by SoFloFreeper
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To: SoFloFreeper

I’m so discouraged that Americans are so freaking stupid. The public waits for information to be spoon fed from the lap dog media. In many cases, members of the public are aware the media is biased, but ignores that fact.

So, the Christmas shopping season was dismal, and there will be consequences, (layoffs). The media will spin it such that it’s presented as Bush’s fault, and the public will happily buy in.

This is so incredible, I wouldn’t believe it if I weren’t living it, witnessing first hand.


2 posted on 12/31/2012 6:55:07 AM PST by brownsfan (Behold, the power of government cheese.)
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To: SoFloFreeper
Think back to Thanksgiving weekend. All I remember hearing was how holiday shopping was smashing records. I knew it was B.S. and I was waiting for the inevitable "revision" of the statistics. Just like everytime in the last 4 years the MSM reported an "improvement" in the unemployment rate, there is always a correction quietly reported in the back of the business pages.

As Rush always says, if we were in a real recovery, we wouldn't need to be told we were in a recovery.

3 posted on 12/31/2012 7:02:30 AM PST by YankeeReb
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To: SoFloFreeper

What is so amusing to me (in a way) was that I saw several news clips during the Christmas shopping season. All of them were saying, “Sales are good” and yet the mall behind them was only sprinkled with shoppers. I said then... this season is going to be a financial bust for retailers.


4 posted on 12/31/2012 7:03:10 AM PST by momtothree
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To: YankeeReb
I'm used to some times Christmas shopping when the parking lots are literally full to the point where you have to follow someone coming out of the store to get their spot. The lots were nowhere close to being full this year. Unless online shopping has more than doubled, this was a very bad year for Christmas shopping.
5 posted on 12/31/2012 7:08:57 AM PST by KarlInOhio (I'm tired of being beaten like a malcontent elf so Obama can pretend to be Santa.)
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To: momtothree
I noticed the same thing...

Best bet is that retailers believed government forecasts for more holiday spending, increased consumer confidence and an expanding economy instead of believing their own lying eyes.

Judging fromt he parking lots and store activity over the past week, I'll bet Christmas for a lot of folks happened after December 25th.

6 posted on 12/31/2012 7:19:06 AM PST by gov_bean_ counter (Hope and Change has become Attack and Obfuscate.)
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To: gov_bean_ counter

“I’ll bet Christmas for a lot of folks happened after December 25th”

I agree. I’ve talked to some friends and all of their shopping was extremely conservative. By that, I mean clothes for the kids that they needed anyways and very few high priced items. One friend “combined” her daughters gift as Christmas and her Spring birthday gift (a pair of Uggs).


7 posted on 12/31/2012 7:32:58 AM PST by momtothree
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To: momtothree

I really don’t want to be lumped into the Black Friday or Christmas shopping crowd so I always do all my shopping right around November 1. We spent probably the same amount on the grandkids that we do every year but yeah, I buy them clothes and stuff. We do absolutely no adult shopping and haven’t for years.


8 posted on 12/31/2012 7:37:27 AM PST by sheana
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To: YankeeReb

I remember the ‘Black Friday was Great’ stories too....and I told everybody in the office to wait for the ‘disappointing shopping season’ stories right after Christmas. Its been the same for 4 years now....wishful thinking economic analysis, on the party of the so called ‘experts’ in the media.


9 posted on 12/31/2012 7:40:12 AM PST by lacrew (Mr. Soetoro, we regret to inform you that your race card is over the credit limit.)
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To: gov_bean_ counter

Empty parking lots, no jobs and the threat of higher taxes and yet the msm was spinning record sales. I wasn’t going to spend a dime this year but broke down because sonny boy needed some long and short sleeved tshirts. Found some for $1.50 at Walgreens. Spent $10 so he’s stocked up. I doubt that helped Walgreens’ bottom line. Didn’t spend a dime on Christmas or New Year’s dinners. Make that no recent spending since everything was from the pantry, freezer or garden.


10 posted on 12/31/2012 7:41:08 AM PST by bgill (We've passed the point of no return. Welcome to Al Amerika.)
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To: KarlInOhio

I also took note of the lack of overflowing parking lots, and more particularly, the lack of traffic jams.

Our office is near the commercial area of town; and, I remember Christmas seasons where I couldn’t even drive to a fast food place to get lunch...total traffic snarl.

Non of that this year. I understand that online sales are taking some of the sales away (and that’s not a good thing for local small business anyway); but, the volume was clearly down.

I had to pick something up at Wal Mart on Black Friday, in the P.M....wasn’t crowded in the least bit. Then I turned on the radio and heard about the great day retailers were having. A very Soviet experience.


11 posted on 12/31/2012 7:45:33 AM PST by lacrew (Mr. Soetoro, we regret to inform you that your race card is over the credit limit.)
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To: KarlInOhio

I also took note of the lack of overflowing parking lots, and more particularly, the lack of traffic jams.

Our office is near the commercial area of town; and, I remember Christmas seasons where I couldn’t even drive to a fast food place to get lunch...total traffic snarl.

Non of that this year. I understand that online sales are taking some of the sales away (and that’s not a good thing for local small business anyway); but, the volume was clearly down.

I had to pick something up at Wal Mart on Black Friday, in the P.M....wasn’t crowded in the least bit. Then I turned on the radio and heard about the great day retailers were having. A very Soviet experience.


12 posted on 12/31/2012 7:45:33 AM PST by lacrew (Mr. Soetoro, we regret to inform you that your race card is over the credit limit.)
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To: momtothree
Our local tv stations showed lots of shoppers, but if you looked closely, you didn't see much evidence of purchases (a shopping bag, for example). Now some people may have bought gift cards, but I thought many were just window shopping or just hanging around the mall.

Then there is a friend of line. She goes to the mall around December 24 just to see what she will pick up during the after Christmas clearances.

In the old days, winter items were gone by February. Last year, Macys and other stores were still selling winter merchandise in May. Last spring I bought a wool sweater for 90% off.

13 posted on 12/31/2012 7:48:20 AM PST by fatnotlazy
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To: sheana

My husband and I haven’t gotten each other a Christmas gift since the birth of our first child. (well, he will put Chapstick in my stocking... I go through that stuff like crazy!). The only adult we do shopping for is the kid’s Aunt (well, technically she is a second cousin to them but acts like an Aunt...goes to their birthdays, Godmother to the kids etc). Since she is really the only extended family that involves herself with the kids.. we do cherish her.


14 posted on 12/31/2012 7:54:43 AM PST by momtothree
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To: fatnotlazy

“Last spring I bought a wool sweater for 90% off”

What a steal! Good for you! That’s how we have to do any shopping for now on, don’t we? You know.. you are right about winter items being gone by February in the old days. I remember six inches of snow on the ground and the stores had bathing suits displayed. In fact, if you needed something for Winter (new boots or such) you had to get them by Christmas or soon afterwards... then the spring/summer stuff was rolled out.


15 posted on 12/31/2012 8:00:05 AM PST by momtothree
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To: momtothree

Thrift shops are booming...my wife scores tons of designer label clothing (with tags still on) ‘donated’ by jaded/bored wives of wealthy democrats traveling to their vacation homes in Red Hampshire. $50, $75, $100 (and more) sweaters, blouses, pants, suits, blazers...all for a buck or two. Sweet.


16 posted on 12/31/2012 8:07:51 AM PST by who knows what evil? (G-d saved more animals than people on the ark...www.siameserescue.org.)
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To: who knows what evil?

That is SWEET! She has got to feel great wearing some expensive/good looking outfit knowing she only paid a few bucks. (she must be petite... usually I find expensive items like that is uber small sizes. .... sigh)


17 posted on 12/31/2012 8:11:00 AM PST by momtothree
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To: brownsfan

They have already spun it. I’ve heard them blame Hurricane Sandy and the shootings in CT for the bad shopping season. Liberals will never fault their guy or their policies, no matter what.


18 posted on 12/31/2012 8:20:28 AM PST by Pining_4_TX (All those who were appointed to eternal life believed. Acts 13:48)
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To: momtothree

Frankly; I get as excited as her when she pulls out an item from Talbot’s, Chico’s, or Coldwater Creek displaying a tag of $89.95-119.95 that she paid a buck for...she was laughing at your comment about ‘uber small sizes’...that is pretty much the case...


19 posted on 12/31/2012 8:25:17 AM PST by who knows what evil? (G-d saved more animals than people on the ark...www.siameserescue.org.)
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To: momtothree
Well, last year Macys did have the spring and summer stuff out early as always. But most of it was in the back of each department with the winter items out in front. This went on till spring; then the spring items were in the front, with the winter items in the back. Finally, around late April or early May, the store created a separate “clearance” department where the winter leftovers were kept. You had to look for the winter stuff, but it was there.

Eventually, what was still left over disappeared. I don't know if it was sold off to a discounter or if it was recycled this year.

20 posted on 12/31/2012 8:35:24 AM PST by fatnotlazy
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To: who knows what evil?

“... that is pretty much the case”.

I am so jealous!! I know Talbot’s, for example, has really high quality/conservative outfits. I forget exactly who but another Freepers wife still has Talbot’s blazers/skirts from over twenty years ago. They still look brand new. (sigh again... why do all those teeny little gals get the breaks?! LOL!)


21 posted on 12/31/2012 8:36:24 AM PST by momtothree
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To: who knows what evil?

They certainly are. My wife has been shopping at thrift stores for many years and the expensive clothes she brings home are amazing. She wears them for a while and if she becomes tired of them or they become too big she donates them back and finds something new. I have a heck of a time getting her to buy new some of the things she can’t find like pants. She grew up dirt poor with one or two outfits at any one time. She appreciates saving and always has through the 40 years we’ve been married.


22 posted on 12/31/2012 9:01:44 AM PST by RJS1950 (The democrats are the "enemies foreign and domestic" cited in the federal oath)
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To: gov_bean_ counter

“Best bet is that retailers believed government forecasts for more holiday spending, increased consumer confidence and an expanding economy instead of believing their own lying eyes. Judging fromt he parking lots and store activity over the past week, I’ll bet Christmas for a lot of folks happened after December 25th.”

As an increasing number of people give gift cards, I’m suremuch of that shopping is happening after Christmas Day. I know I’ve used them in the past to buy as much of my normal staples (to help pay down credit card debt) - light bulbs from Home Depot, groceries from Target, etc. The AmEx cards are great because you can use them in a supermarket.

The days of Christmas with adults buying adult toys are over for most Americans; welcome to the “new normal”.


23 posted on 12/31/2012 9:15:32 AM PST by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic war against white males (and therefore white families).)
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To: Pining_4_TX
I’ve heard them blame Hurricane Sandy and the shootings in CT for the bad shopping season.

LOL! Out here in Flyoverville, Sandy wasn't a factor in any way, shape or form. As for CT, it seems to have spurred already strong firearms sales (I've been around the block a time or two and I've never seen so many people walk into the LGS and just buy for the sake of buying something)... now if that meant that people spent their money on firearms, ammunition and magazines instead of other items, then retailers can put the blame on Obama and the Dems.

(Where it belongs for a number of reasons which may or may not be related.)

The Fast & Furious operation combined with running arms to Muslim Brotherhood affiliates probably puts Barack Hussein Obama at the top of the "President responsible for supplying arms to civilians" category dollar wise, and he has certainly been responsible for booming sales in the US. He generally takes credit for anything and everything, but my guess is that being "Arms Salesman of the Year" for four straight isn't going to get much ink.

Back to the broader topic, niteowl77 and I noticed back in early December that people were not out and about buying as in past years, nor were they dining out like last year. I don't know what others' reasons may be, but we hit a psychological wall of sorts a few years back, finally reacting to the realization that much of what was good about Christmas (same for Halloween and other holidays) had long been co-opted by various conglomerations of asses. Call it fed-up, or burned-out or whatever, but Christmas here is no longer an orgy of material goods that we may or may not need, and which we may or may not really be able to afford. We (and our extended family as well) have continued to cut back, and this year marked the first time in at least 55 years that my parents did not buy Christmas gifts for their kids or grandkids.

Mr. niteowl77

24 posted on 12/31/2012 9:22:26 AM PST by niteowl77 (Oh, crap.)
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To: lacrew

I had to pick something up at Wal Mart on Black Friday, in the P.M....wasn’t crowded in the least bit. Then I turned on the radio and heard about the great day retailers were having. A very Soviet experience.
********************************************
Same here ,, black friday ,, bopped into WMT for a grocery item ... the lot was a bit more than half full ,, like a normal Saturday, no delay at checkout and only half of the checkouts were open.. only buying a very few toy items ,, 90% just needs.. never saw what I would call a large crowd.. one mall I visit has had over a 20% vacancy rate for at least the past 2 seasons,, they hid it by moving existing stores in seldom visited side corridors to the main “avenue” and vacating the side corridors,, now the main “avenue” has even more empty positions , camoflaged by window displays for the surviving stores and some of the new stores are really low rent things that normally would never be in a mall... a health club took at least 6-8 of the empty spaces ... just the fact they could consolidate enough space for it tells you a lot,, then you have the personal services type places that are started on a shoestring..


25 posted on 12/31/2012 9:47:24 AM PST by Neidermeyer
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To: lacrew

The media carrying 0boober’s water again. We haven’t come out of the ‘08 recession, and now that things were ever so slightly improving we get slammed with a host of new 0bamacare taxes and payroll tax hikes that kick in whether or not we swan dive off the fiscal cliff. But, the “wise” voting public chose this sham regime for another 4 years.


26 posted on 12/31/2012 10:13:11 AM PST by YankeeReb
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To: SoFloFreeper
Just to throw this out there:
Came back from a Dick's Sporting Goods store in Danbury CT, just a 5 minute ride from Newtown CT. All the rifles and shotguns are out of sight, but now they have a limit on .22 rimfire ammo. I asked the clerk why, he said (and I quote) , "We can't stock it fast enough, same thing happened last election." .

I thought that was telling, the bluest part of the people's republic of CT, not 10 minutes away from where the Dear Reader spoke in Newtown and they can't keep ammo on the shelves.

So there's one sector of the economy having a banner holiday season.

27 posted on 12/31/2012 10:19:04 AM PST by YankeeReb
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To: YankeeReb

Since the election, the only thing I have any desire to buy is the stuff my child needs for school etc. That, and the occasional bottle of drinkable wine (domestic or from a country I can stomach politically - definitely not French). I’m sure I’m not alone.


28 posted on 12/31/2012 10:30:37 AM PST by pieceofthepuzzle
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To: kearnyirish2
I’m sure much of that shopping is happening after Christmas Day

I know that, that is what I do with my two adult daughters. We wait for a couple of days after Christmas, and then I take them for clothes shopping. Neither lives anywhere near hubby and I, so I don't know what they like or need; so, it is just easier to let them find things for themselves. What my youngest needed this time were new shoes.

29 posted on 12/31/2012 10:31:33 AM PST by LibertarianLiz
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To: SoFloFreeper
A fact the media has all but IGNORED is that 2012 was the worst shopping season since....wait for it.....2008. Gee, what did those two shopping seasons have in common

And yet we heard that after Black Friday, the whole deal had broken records.....on the plus side. I guess this is another "unexpected" turn of events.

30 posted on 12/31/2012 12:07:00 PM PST by trebb (Allies no longer trust us. Enemies no longer fear us.)
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To: niteowl77

“I don’t know what others’ reasons may be, but we hit a psychological wall of sorts a few years back, finally reacting to the realization that much of what was good about Christmas (same for Halloween and other holidays) had long been co-opted by various conglomerations of asses. Call it fed-up, or burned-out or whatever, but Christmas here is no longer an orgy of material goods that we may or may not need, and which we may or may not really be able to afford.”

This is true of many people I know, too. We also cut back, especially this year. Many don’t have the money and almost all wonder about the future.

I also think retailers killed the goose that laid the golden egg when they switched to Happy Holidays. Nobody goes shopping for the Winter Solstice. Now that Christmas is just a reason to buy things on sale, many people wait to shop until January or don’t shop at all, and Christians are turning away from the public display of nothingness.


31 posted on 01/01/2013 7:11:38 AM PST by Pining_4_TX (All those who were appointed to eternal life believed. Acts 13:48)
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To: LibertarianLiz

It’s a great (and practical) idea; what takes place prior to December 25th has become so far removed from “Christmas” it is a mockery.

People should start exchanging gifts on Three Kings Day (January 6th); that would be much easier.


32 posted on 01/01/2013 7:32:54 AM PST by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic war against white males (and therefore white families).)
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