We Don’t Know How Black Friday Sales Were Yet

Today, the WSJ ran this patently incorrect headline:   

Black Friday Spending Rose Slightly

Preliminary sales data showed shoppers spent $10.66 billion on Black Friday. That’s 0.5% more than last year. The figures were compiled by ShopperTrak RCT Corp., a Chicago research firm that tracks sales at more than 50,000 stores

That’s simply wrong. We don’t have a clue yet as to how Black Friday sales were. Not even a remotely wild guess.

What the WSJ should have written were words to the effect of:

“An analysis of mall foot traffic suggests that Black Friday saw a slight increase in shoppers. Since we did not analyze actual sales, or even credit card transaction, we actually have no idea how sales did. ShopperTrak’s guessed that sales might have been up as much as a half a percentage, but that’s just spitballing it.

Every year, various groups — NPD, Retail Federation, Shopper Track, and others — release this weak ass data that is almost never correct. And each year, the press laps it up like manna from heaven.

You call this a business model, printing bullshit press releases from trade associations and the like?

How’s that working out for ya?

Source: BLACK FRIDAY RETAIL SALES INCREASE 0.5 PERCENT AS COMPARED TO 2008 November 29, 2008 http://www.shoppertrak.com/black-friday-retail-sales-increase-05-percent-compared-2008

Black Friday Spending Rose Slightly WSJ, NOVEMBER 28, 2009, 4:39 P.M. ET http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703499404574563940913688978.html

Originally published at The Big Picture and reproduced here with the author’s permission.   

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One Response to "We Don’t Know How Black Friday Sales Were Yet"

  1. Central Harlem Anonymous   December 4, 2009 at 10:09 am

    In midtown Manhattan, foot traffic is vastly better this year than last. No clue what that means for actual sales, of course.