Every year, the media and Wall Street devote much horsepower to analysing Black Friday sales and trying to divine what these mean for holiday sales in general.
The answer is, not much.
Neil Irwin at the Washington Post posts the following chart from Capital Economics, which shows the correlation between Thanksgiving Week retail sales (“Black Friday”) and overall holiday sales.
As the chart shows, there’s not much correlation between the two, but to the extent there is, it’s actually negative.
Strong Black Friday sales tend to predict weaker overall holiday sales, and vice versa.
In other words, in contrast to popular belief, consumers don’t go any nuttier on Black Friday in holiday seasons when they plan to spend more than when they plan to spend less. On the contrary…
Photo: Capital Economics, Wonkblog
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