Black Friday: What really happened

As soon as retailers reported their November comps, it was apparent that Black Friday turned out better than I originally thought. Here’s my more recent comment for RetailWire:

The November results posted yesterday were surprisingly good and (for once) more in line with NRF numbers than ShopperTrak’s more guarded reporting. Without reporting from Walmart, we are not seeing the entire picture but it’s clear that department stores and “upscale” discounters (Target as opposed to the dollar stores) are regaining share. There is evidence that consumers feel “permission” to do more discretionary spending than they have felt for awhile, especially in apparel and the home store. Last weekend was not just about electronics, toys and doorbusters.

Nevertheless, today’s jobless report is a sobering reminder that we are not out of the woods yet. Let’s hope that the uptick in consumer sentiment and spending is not smothered by a wet blanket of tough economic data three weeks before Christmas!

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