Sunday, November 30, 2008
My Black Friday
Despite the fact that I absolutely hate crowds, and I hate fighting to get a parking spot, the last few years I have gone out on Black Friday. I never buy anything, but I like to get a sense of the crowds and to see what people are buying. I have never actually bought anything because of one simple fact. While there are great deals to be had on Black Friday, they are usually for things I don't need. Now there is the part of me that loves a good deal. I see something at 50% off, and it instantly piques my interest. However, I find the whole thing rather sad as people line up more than twenty-four hours in advance to take advantage of doorbuster deals.
I only went to a few places. I went to a Best Buy, a Borders, and a Macy. I also just glanced in a few others. While some pundits have predicted this to be a horrible shopping season, there were some pretty significant crowds at the Best Buy. The parking lot was quite full, with several cars continuously circling for a parking space. I ended up parking pretty far away but I at least did not have to wait for my spot. I walked in and it was pretty crowded. There was however no line at the registers. It was kind of odd. It was the first time I have not seen significant lines at a Best Buy on a Black Friday. It might mean that Best Buy is getting really good at getting people through the line. This is entirely possible because all the registers were opened and they had several makeshift registers throughout the store. It might be also that there are lots of people like me, looking just not buying.
The same thing at Macy's and Borders. It just was not all that crowded. It seemed even lower on Saturday and Sunday. This is in contrast to what is being reported in the news as most news outlets are reporting higher foot traffic this year than in years past. It will be interesting to see how this news will be digested by investors. It will really show how much bad news is actually baked in into the equity markets.