Well, not really. I have been so struck by the news about all the doom and gloom, I wanted to see for myself if people are spending money or keeping it close to the vest like so many news outlets report. So my husband and I hopped in the car and headed off for the local mall. (Quick note: I am not an “in person” shopper and probably haven’t been to a mall in about three years — what an eye opener this was!)
Here’s what I found.
- The mall was packed to the gills. We had to drive around for about 15 minutes and then wait like a vulture when we saw someone come out of the mall and head to a car. We finally snagged a great spot this way. We were, of course, willing to park in the back forty but there was no parking there either.
- People walking out of the mall weren’t carrying very many packages. Sure there was a bag or two here and there, but a lot of people were empty handed. (Maybe most people were doing “research” like I was.)
- The stores with big discounts (e.g., Pennys 50% – 75% off) were mobbed with people. You could barely get through the isles and the clothing shelves looked like animals had been pawing through them.
- Other stores had plenty of people too, but they were mainly browsing.
- The checkout lines were about 10 deep, but people only had one or two items so the lines moved quickly even though there was a shortage of checkout staff.
So here’s my assessment.
- The news outlets are right. People are holding on to their money this year. I bet the news reports more doom and gloom for an awful retail season this year. (Of course, they report disappointment every year so what’s new.)
- You can’t discount your business into positive cash flow.
Did you do any research on Black Friday? Tell me about it by leaving a comment.