Black Froday, Cyber Monday
Well I survived the madness of Black Friday.
This is mainly because I had to work. Thursday too. And Saturday. So being safely away from all sources of retail craziness, I was not really worried about being trampled to death at a Wal-Mart.
So as a result, I really do not know how Black Friday went. Sure - there were stores that had long lines of idiots standing around for 6 - 8 hours waiting for the doors to open. And I assume the mobs were orderly, as I did not hear any reports of a trampling death this year.
I have heard various "news" reports however. Bloomberg reports that sales "may have" advanced 2.4% over last year. Of course last year there was a slump of some 8% over the year before. But the retail industry forecast of a 1% slump in spending seems to have held true also - so who knows.
I think the actual numbers are WORSE than what is reported. For one, nobody was trampled to death. Compare this to the 90s when multiple people would get trampled to death. And not just at Wal-Mart! Oh no, you were taking your life into your hands every time a new shipment of Tickle Me Elmo hit a store. And even if you were just driving within 50 miles of that store - you were at a greatly increased risk of harm. People had lost their mind.
When the economic shit hit the fan in 2007, it was close to the holiday season. Sales were down from what they were, but since many people did not realize just how shitty things were to become stores were still hopeful. It took the sales figures AFTER the entire holiday season was over to make that clear. As the season went on, things got shittier and shittier.
But still - people were trampled to death on Black Froday.
Last year we all knew what was up. We were firmly into the shit. No question about it. Anyone who said "oh, this economic thing is not so bad" was clearly smoking crack.
And still, on Black Froday there was one trampling death.
So I have developed an index. The more people who get stampeeded, the better the season is. Pretty simple really.
This year, by my accounts - nobody was killed. Nobody even so much as tripped and fell down. It all seemed to be rather calm and controled - which is not a good sign really. Chaos and madness is a better indicator.
Saturday, after work, I did make a spy mission to a Best Buy. The store was full of stuff. Much of it was Black Froday sale items that had not sold out. There was one Garmin GPS for $99 that was sold out - but from what I could see everything else was still there. Even the $25 DVD players.
So either the Best Buy stocked up and built up sufficient inventory (unlikely in my opinion, given the poor sales forecast) or else stuff did not sell as anticipated.
Also -there were not any people in the check-out line. I did see some people walking out with stuff - but there were no check-out lines.
Now Cyber Monday is more my speed. This is the day when people spend time at work looking for online deals. I did this. I ordered a Garmin Nuvi 550 GPS for $199, a universal mount for the GPS ($20), and a LED light ($8). That concluded my Cyber Monday shopping extravaganca. Not very exciting, but now the Waverunner has a primary GPS, and the boat has a secondary backup GPS. I can also use the 550 in the truck, on foot, or on a bike. It has car mode, boat mode, foot mode, and bicycle mode. Plus it is waterproof. Pretty cool.
I wonder if there is a measure of productivity lost on Cyber Monday. I bet that the sales boost minus the productivity loss would make for an interesting topic for an economics class.
And today - the universal GPS mount arrived. Just now. Really. West Marine apparently ships shit out fast. So today, on my traded day off - I have something to install on the Waverunner! Now if I can just get that GPS in all will be good.