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US shoppers’ lust for Black Friday bargains this year has reached absurd new levels, evidenced by a viral joke that morphed into a disturbing new trend to help shoppers beat Wal-Mart and other big box store crowds by disguising themselves as temporary holiday employees. It started when Twitter user @OverlyLiked announcing he would be selling his Walmart vest for $100.
“I’m selling this Walmart vest for $100,” he wrote. “Use it to skip the line during Black Friday. You can even walk in, grab what you want, and walk out.”
I’m selling this Walmart vest for $100. Use it to skip the line during Black Friday. You can even walk in, grab what you want, and walk out??????????. pic.twitter.com/Q0UyDHUeU0
— 6’4 (@OverlyLiked) November 20, 2017
Although the tweet was reportedly meant as a joke, earning @OverlyLiked more than 30,000 retweets and almost 80,000 likes, it wasn’t long before he was being inundated with real requests to buy his shirt.
Sales and traffic at U.S. brick-and-mortar stores on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday declined from last year, as Reuters reports that stores offered discounts well beyond the weekend and more customers shopped online.
The National Retail Federation reports that spending per person over Thanksgiving Weekend this year was $289.19, down 3.4% from $299.60 in the same period last year.
For years, Black Friday brawls and rampant materialism on the day after Thanksgiving have become a sort of twisted American celebration. However, each year the excitement continues to die down as people reject the Black Friday antics and instead do their shopping online or on other days. According to a survey by the National Retail Federation, Black Friday attendance was down over 3%, from 58.7% last year to 55.1% this year.
The survey noted that the average shopper was expected to spend $380.95, which was down from $407.02 the previous year. According to the group’s estimates, sales slipped from $57.4 billion to $50.9 billion.
Once upon a time, “Black Friday” was a major event in the United States. Yes, the mainstream media is still endlessly hyping it up, and major retailers are still rolling out their “incredible deals”, but it appears that most Americans are tiring of this particular gimmick. Or perhaps it is just that U.S. consumers don’t have as much discretionary income as they once did. As you will see below, retail traffic this Black Friday was “much, much slower” than anticipated. And expectations were not great anyway – the number of shoppers was down last year, and it was being projected that there would be another decline in 2015. Yes, there were still a few fights on Black Friday, but mostly the “holiday” was marked by giant piles of unsold merchandise sitting around collecting dust. The inventory to sales ratio in the U.S. has surged to levels not seen since the last recession, and so the truth is that most retailers were hoping for much more contrived chaos on Black Friday than we actually witnessed.
Put aside 4 minutes of your day to poke some fun at America’s leading religion: Consumerism.
For last year’s year Black Friday post, see:In Liberty,
– Black Friday Sales Tumble 13% On Thanksgiving Thursday Opening Scramble (ZeroHedge, Dec 1, 2013):
Update: more data trickling in from the NRF, and since it is not pretty, so expect much more blame to fall on the weather.
- U.S. consumers spent $57.4b over Black Friday weekend, down from last year’s $59.1b, National Retail Federation says
- Consumers spent avg. $407.02 (planned), down from $423.55 in 2012
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If somehow the scramble to open stores earlier and earlier on Thanksgiving day, until such time as the very Thanksgiving dinner had to be interrupted early for the annual rush out to the (un)friendly neighborhood Thug-Mart (Toys’R’Us opened at a ridiculous 5pm on Thanksgiving day) and punching people in the face just to get that 42 inch, 2010-model Plasma TV for $99, was supposed to boost overall sales instead of merely pulling them forward (see cash for clunkers), it didn’t work. According to ShopperTrak, total Black Friday traffic plunged 11% and total sales fell 13.2%, the second consecutive year of declines following last year’s 1.8%. The reason, as largely expected, is that a substantial portion of Friday shopping was pulled back to Thursday: as ShopperTrak founder Bill Martin said, “if retailers continue to promote Thanksgiving as the start of the holiday buying season, he thinks the holiday will eventually surpass Black Friday in sales. “We’re just taking Black Friday sales and spreading them across a larger number of days,” Martin said.”
– Black Friday: A Shameful Orgy Of Materialism For A Morally Bankrupt Nation (Economic Collapse, Nov 29, 2013):
It has been called “America’s most disturbing holiday”. Black Friday is the day when millions of average Americans wait outside retail stores in the middle of the night in the freezing cold to spend more money that they do not have for more cheap Chinese-made products that they do not need. It is a day when the rest of the world makes fun of Americans for behaving like “rabid animals” and “zombies” as we indulge in a tsunami of greed. It truly is a shameful orgy of materialism for a morally bankrupt nation. It is being projected that approximately 140 million Americans will participate in this disgusting national ritual this year. Sadly, most of them have absolutely no idea that they are actively participating in the destruction of the economic infrastructure of the United States. If you don’t understand why this is true, please be sure to read this entire article all the way to the end.