How were November sales…really?

I submitted the following comment to RetailWire after Black Friday weekend — but before stores reported November comp sales. It turned out to be accurate: Most retailers’ comps were disappointing for the month (in large part to Hurricane Sandy) but stronger over the weekend. The continuing shift to e-commerce sales is worth noting, too:

The ShopperTrak article (reporting a drop in Black Friday sales) misses the point: The early hours on Thursday, added Saturday doorbusters and cyber-specials probably means that the overall numbers were healthy last weekend. Hopefully stores reporting November comp sales soon will add some flavor to their commentary, because Hurricane Sandy is likely to depress results earlier in the month. It will also be worth noting whether shoppers focused on electronics and toys (as usual) or spent more than last year on apparel and other discretionary categories.

The shift from “Cyber Monday” to “Cyber Week” is another indication that retailers are capturing business when they can — and when the consumer wants to shop — not necessarily remaining fixated on “the way things were” ten years ago.

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