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 Amazon.com 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.