The holiday retail-sales decline was much worse than the already-dire picture painted by industry forecasts, which had predicted sales ranging from a 1% drop to a more optimistic increase of 2.2%.
Luxury goods, once considered immune from economic turmoil, were hardest hit, with sales falling 21.2%, compared with a jump of 7.5% a year ago, when the economy had just begun to sputter. Including jewelry sales, the luxury sector plunged by a whopping 34.5%.
Online also felt the pinch, although not nearly as bad as the rest. Nevertheless, nobody bought the Black Friday optimism.
I did a poll of my own too – three families, all with children from five years to ten. All parents said they significantly reduced their spending this year – they bought little if anything for each other, and much less for the children too. But, they expressed the feeling that the kids were very happy regardless, and the one sample group I personally observed confirmed it – the kids were bouncing off the walls. The families also noted that ‘less’ felt good – a simpler holiday without all the pressures left everyone at ease, and content.
And why not? Heck, ‘less is more’ even works in fishing!