Posts filed under “Retail”
Thanksgiving is next week. Along with the family and turkey and fixin’s comes the annual — and historically terrible — holiday shopping forecasts. One of my favorite traditions is to wait until the National Retail Federation posts its annual holiday spending forecast, and then write a few columns dissecting both the methodology (it’s pretty awful) and the forecast track record (it’s even worse).
There are not many data series in the world of finance and economics that actually can make you laugh out loud, but this is one of them.
The folks at the NRF, however, don’t have much of a sense of humor. Last year, they told the Huffington Post that my critique of their methodology was an “annual temper tantrum,” and compared me to the Grinch who stole Christmas.
How awesome is that?
Just by way of background: Theodore Geisel, aka Dr. Suess, the author of the classic children’s book, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” awoke one Dec. 26 in a sour mood, annoyed by the excesses of the holiday shopping season. The book is the first by Seuss with an adult as its protagonist, and not coincidentally, the Grinch was the exact same age Geisel was at the time. Add to it that Geisel’s car had the personalized license plate GRINCH. Dr. Seuss wrote the now-beloved children’s book as a parable criticizing the commercialization of the holiday season.
Continues here: The Grinch Sizes Up Holiday Spending Forecasts
Source: Torsten Sløk, Ph.D., Deutsche Bank Research The Gallup survey (above) was carried out from October 7 to October 11 and shows that US consumer Christmas spending intentions are at the highest level since 2007. Combined with consumer confidence for lower income groups near the highest levels ever, the message for investors is clear:…Read More
I have been writing critiques of Wal-Mart’s wages and employment policies for years (see “How Wal-Mart Became A Welfare Queen” and “Wal-Mart’s Minimum Wage Breakdown“). Today, I break with tradition and offer up some positive perspectives on the retail giant’s recent actions. A brief history of Wal-Mart and its enormous retail staff is telling. The…Read More
Dig this: “In an email to The Huffington Post, an NRF spokeswoman called Ritholtz’s piece an “annual temper tantrum” that was “slanted, flawed and predictable,” and compared it to “such holiday traditions as the Grinch and the threat of coal in one’s stocking.” The NRF did not cite any inaccuracies in Ritholtz’s column, nor did…Read More
The New York Times headline declared, “Thanksgiving Weekend Sales, at Stores and Online, Slide 11 Percent.” Not to be outdone, the Wall Street Journal reported, “‘Black Friday’ Fades as Weekend Retail Sales Sink.” And — to prove I’m not playing favorites — Bloomberg News noted that, “Black Friday Fizzles With Consumers as Sales Tumble 11%.”…Read More
This is the time of year when Americans gather with family and friends to give thanks. A bounteous feast is the time to express gratitude for our good fortune. We count our blessings, humbled by the fortuity of our circumstances, grateful for whatever it is we have. Once you get that over with, it’s time…Read More
Forget August. The real silly season is upon us. As evidence I present the forecast of a 13 percent increase in holiday sales made by Forrester Research, as cited in the New York Times this morning. Color me skeptical. As we noted about this time last year, these sales projections are as much of an…Read More