Pretty dismal holiday sales this year. Here are a few links for your clicking pleasure:

Retailers Brace for Major Chang
WSJ, DECEMBER 27, 2008

Bargain-Hunting Shoppers Turn Up Noses at Post-Christmas Sales
Bloomberg, Dec. 27 2008

Amazon Claims ‘Best Ever’ Christmas (Whatever That Means)
NYT Bits, December 26, 2008

For stores, a very un-merry holiday
CNN/, December 26, 2008

Retail stocks suffer, some defy dismal sales data
Reuters, Dec 26, 2008

Christmas Aftermath: Navigating the Gift Return
WSJ, Holiday Sales Blog

Holiday Sales Tumble as U.S. Consumers Cut Spending
Bloomberg, Dec. 26 2008

US-Holiday sales may be down 4 pct -SpendingPulse
UK Reuters, Dec 26, 2008 2:12pm GMT

Retail Sales Fall as Analysts See a Soft Post-Holiday Rush
NYT, December 26, 2008

Amazon says 2008 holiday season was ‘best ever’
AP, Dec 26, 2008

Fresh survey shows gloomy U.S. retail sales: report
MarketWatch, Dec. 26, 2008

Amazon Lauds Its Holiday Sales
WSJ, DECEMBER 26, 2008, 9:41 A.M. ET

Retail sales dismal in United States and Britain
International Herald Tribune, December 25, 2008

Retailers slash prices to entice holiday shoppers
AP, Dec 26, 2008

After-holiday prices reach ‘rock bottom’

Visits to U.S. Retailers Fell 24% on Weekend Before Christmas
Bloomberg, Dec. 25 2008

Retail Sales Plummet
WSJ, DECEMBER 25, 2008

Early Reports Confirm Weak Holiday Shopping
NYT, December 24, 2008

Category: Consumer Spending, Economy, Markets, Retail

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

11 Responses to “UPDATED: Retail Round Up”

  1. Jurgen says:

    “SpendingPulse said that ecommerce continues to be an area of relative strength.
    Similarly, Inc. said that the 2008 holiday season finished as its best ever, with over 6.3 million items ordered worldwide on the peak day, Dec. 15 — a record-breaking 72.9 items per second. ”
    The trend is to spend more online.

    Despite this constant thick gloom coming from the media all morning, S&P Retail Index (RLX) is slightly up today.

    SpendingPulse uses only MasterCard data. We do not know if 2-4% drop that SpendingPulse projects (that the media reports it as if it is a fact) could be attributed to more people shopping online and using more VISA and American Express (instead of using MasterCard).

    Was there a jump in gifts cards this year?

    Lets wait for all the data (the big picture) before jumping into conclusions that the sky is falling based on a very small pool of data.

  2. donna says:

    One of those articles says gift card sales were down this year, too.

    The sky may not be falling, but so many were snowed in that many more bought on line this year. We did all of our out of state presents online simply because Amazon ships free, as did most of those receivers to send things to us. It’s a lot easier than going shopping, wrapping, then standing in line for shipping and paying for it.

    A lot of our presents this year though were things like car repairs and tires for the kids. So retail sales may be down, as stuff like that gets counted as presents.

  3. Jurgen says:


    They said gift cards may fall by 5.3% (again, it was a gloomy prediction, not a fact) on fear that the retailers may go out of business next year.

  4. VennData says:

    The retail industry should hire Bush – he’s looking for a gig – they can replay his “Just get out there and shop” quotes are run them repeatedly, Billy Mays-like, and update it:

    “Hi, George Bush, to share with you the most important product I’ve ever endorsed.”

    “Call in the next five minutes and buy this war, we’ll give you the second war for half off.”

    “And look how much I’ve lowered gas prices for you, so there’s no charge for S&H, we call it Shipping Accomplished.”

  5. Jurgen,

    if this : ” on fear that the retailers may go out of business next year.” is, really, the reason Gift Card sales are down, that a, tremendously, + sign that peep are starting to pay attention..

    with that, – another D points from any DOW projections for MMIX

  6. Steve Barry says:

    Everyone gets fooled by Amazon…analysts called for a 14% rise in revenue, so they better have a “record holiday” in units or it would really be news. Their press release gave no revenue or margin stats. Plus, they get half their revenue overseas and will have to discount that 700-900 bps vs. last year due to a stronger dollar.

  7. Steve Barry says:

    Merkin will unwind his hedge fund per Bloomber…get this…it will take YEARS.

    Merkin’s Gabriel Fund to Liquidate After Madoff Loss (Update3)

    By Joshua Fineman

    Dec. 19 (Bloomberg) — Gabriel Capital LP, a $1.5 billion hedge fund run by GMAC LLC Chairman Ezra Merkin, plans to liquidate after incurring losses on investments with Bernard Madoff, who allegedly ran a $50 billion Ponzi scheme.

    Suspending withdrawals and selling remaining assets is the fund’s “only realistic option” after losing 39 percent this year through Nov. 30, Merkin said in a Dec. 18 letter to clients. The process will take several years to complete because the assets are illiquid, Merkin wrote.

  8. ButtoMcFarty says:

    “Shipping Accomplished”


  9. larster says:

    So is Merkin saying that 61% of his fund is in illiquid assets and he lost the 39% that were in tradable assets? For this people were paying 2 and 20.

    Although upon further thought, investing w/Madoff was pretty illiquid.

  10. carping demon says:

    I’ve met that Major Chang. Quite an unpleasant man.

  11. Yeah, Major Chang’s a right bastard, and his restaurants are rubbish..

    On the other hand… General Tso was a bloodthirsty foe, but his chicken is delectable!