Monday, December 1, 2008

Retail Sales Shocker

The Wall Street Journal is reporting what may be the most surprising data of the week (it's early). Everybody was prepared for Friday to be the kickoff of a really rotten holiday shopping season. Consider the following:

"The holiday shopping season got off to a better-than-expected start, as retailers reeled in cautious shoppers with massive discounts like "buy one get one free" sweaters at Gap Inc. stores, $200 iPod Touch music players from Inc., and 26-inch LCD TVs at Target Corp. sites for $299.

In a survey of 3,370 shoppers, the National Retail Federation estimated shoppers spent an average of $372.57 over the weekend, up 7.2% over last year's $347.55."

3,3370 is not a large sample size, and the article goes on to say that many shoppers had plans to finish more of their shopping earlier, potentially front-loading the season. In any case, chalk one up for the world not ending in November.

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