Posts filed under “Retail”

WaPo: Beware Bad Shopmas data!


My Sunday Washington Post Business Section column is out. This morning, we look at the retail theater that is Black Friday:  Beware of bad Shopmas data!

Here’s an excerpt from the column:

“The news media aren’t any better. They breathlessly cover shopping as if it were an Olympic event. The big-box retailers play right into the coverage. Each year, we are regaled with stock footage of the 6 a.m. crush, a near-riot battle for the heavily discounted electronics doodad of which only a few are for sale. It is ugly and crass. I see a scene from “The Hunger Games” rather than a modern industrialized nation gratefully celebrating the bounty provided us.

Footage of people camped out at Best Buy or elsewhere is not remotely a celebration. Rather, it’s a reminder of just how economically distressed a large percentage of our populace is. It’s a Barbie, for crying out loud — do you really need to LEAVE YOUR FAMILY FOR THREE DAYS TO camp out for that?”

We will start to see some of the “data points” Monday, then get the actual information a few weeks later.  Don’t bet on accuracy in the initial run of numbers.


Retail theater: Beware of bad Shopmas data!
Barry Ritholtz
Washington Post, December 1 2013

Category: Apprenticed Investor, Consumer Spending, Really, really bad calls, Retail

Ignore the Black Friday “Giant Hypefest & Consumer Orgy”

Source: Yahoo Finance

Category: Consumer Spending, Media, Retail

Cell Phone Tracking Customers in Retail Stores

It appears to be anonymous, although I doubt it will stay that way:

Big Data Hits Real Life

July 14, 2013By Erica Berenstein

Brick-and-mortar stores are looking for a chance to catch up with their online competitors by using software that allows them to watch customers as they shop, and gather data about their behavior.

Category: Retail, Video

Technology & Retail Obsolescence

I forgot to publish my Bloomberg appearance this past week — here are two of the segments, mostly on retail and obsolescence:

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Category: Media, Really, really bad calls, Retail, Technology, Valuation, Video

Jeff Bezos Revealed

Bloomberg Game Changers” profiles Inc. founder Jeff Bezos. This program explores the story behind the founder of, the world’s most successful online retailer and examines key moments in his life.

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Category: Retail, Video, Web/Tech

The Tiresome Holiday Sales Forecast Pattern

• Reuters – U.S. retailers scramble after lackluster holiday sales The 2012 holiday season may have been the worst for retailers since the 2008 financial crisis, with sales growth far below expectations, forcing many to offer massive post-Christmas discounts in hopes of shedding excess inventory. While chains like Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Gap Inc are…Read More

Category: Consumer Spending, Really, really bad calls, Retail, Think Tank

2012 Holiday Retail Sales Disappoint

We are still weeks away until we get all of the hard data about the holiday retail sales season, but the early numbers are trickling in. It appears that it was not a very merry Shopmas. We certainly did not see the 13% the National Retail Federation claimed was occurring this season. Some of the…Read More

Category: Consumer Spending, Really, really bad calls, Retail

November Sales Disappoint; What Happened to Black Friday’s 13%?

“Sales at stores open at least a year declined in November at major American store chains, including Macy’s, Nordstrom, Kohl’s and Target, sending a shiver through the retail world Thursday. The reporting period included Thanksgiving and Black Friday, the official kickoff of the critical holiday shopping season. Early reports regarding those days had been mixed,…Read More

Category: Consumer Spending, Really, really bad calls, Retail

The Future of Retailing

We were just discussing this article in the office. That sent me ahunting, and I found this analysis from PSFK. I thought this was interesting: PSFK presents Future of Retail Report 2012 View more presentations from PSFK

Category: Consumer Spending, Retail, Think Tank

Click to enlarge: Source: Institute For Self Reliance

Category: Consumer Spending, Digital Media, Retail