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"Black Friday" sales up 6 percent from last year


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Retailers are reporting that sales on Black Friday this past week were up 6% over last year. Considering that U.S. incomes are down, savings are now near $0, credit card debt is at an all-time high, and foreclosures are skyrocketing around the country, are retail sales during the holiday season truly a bellweather of the U.S. economy anymore?

And did anyone get suckered into venturing out on Friday morning at 5:00 AM? :P

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i wouldn't get up that early to fight crowds... so i slept in. my mother and brother did to try to get a tv at circuit city. it wasn't worth it for them, but they said there was a line for certificates for the cheap tv and cheap computer and people at the front of the line were getting them and selling the certificates to the people in the back of the line. i just want a wii.

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There were over 300 people at Target at 6am when they opened.. and it was mass mayhem once everyone got in the store.. but people were going for several different items, so it wasn't so bad... no fights, tramplings, or gunfire. I just mostly wanted the $4 DVDs and a $160 Kitchenaid mixer for my sister.

I, like most others, avoided Wal-Mart.. interestingly, Wal-mart's sales were down a bit this year while overall, sales were up.

But no, it's not a good indicator of how well the economy is doing, because most of the "money" spent was borrowed...

The long term economic outlook for this country is not good. We are using oil for nearly everything we do and we're running out of it... our infrastructure is falling apart, and nobody wants to pay to rebuild it...

The rich have been making out like bandits in this economy, but they're the only ones that have seen advances... unfortunately, they'll take the hit too, it'll just be later after the middle and lower classes have lost their jobs and can no longer afford to spend money at the stores that the rich own.

Sure, outsourcing jobs to China and India is cheaper in the short run, but they'll pay for it in the long run.

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I think that it will be interesting to see the total numbers. One report today said that the number of transactions are down from last year, but the amount spent is up.

There is some good and some bad. I think that it is great that people are out there spending money, however I think that it would be better if it was spread out over several weeks and not just one day of insanity. The past few years I would show up at the mall, get a coffee, find a bench in a central location and watch the crazies try to kill each other over a Tickle Me Elmo.

I also think that it would be better if more money (and places to spend that money) was spent in urban downtowns and not the malls. Walking from one anchor store to another inside of a mall looses a lot of feeling. On the other hand having those stores in downtown with people walking from one to another with their bags in hand as a gentle snow falls and the Salvation Army Bell Ringers compete with groups of local carolers create a Rockwellian feel to Christmas.

I also think that it is silly to go into debt for Christmas gifts.

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Our city has a "Rockwellian" feeling the day after Thanksgiving. Shops and restaurants stay open late downtown while we celebrate "The Night We Light" as our "First City of Lights" celebration (being the First City on the Mississippi)...

We have sleigh rides through town, a parade, fireworks, and of course, the lighting celebration where all of the downtown streets and trees and all the lights along the lake front are lit up in fantastic fashion.

Unfortunately, there are no department stores downtown, so mostly, you just shop at little specialty stores.. though there is some good dining down there.

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