Black Friday 2009 Results: Boom or Bust?

WalMart Store Setting for 2009 Black Friday
WalMart Store Setting for Black Friday

How the 2009 Black Friday fares against last year? The results are not yet in by the time this article is published, but it indicates promising trends on the economic outlook.

According to CNN Money, The National Retail Federation (NRF) of the US has published an estimated sales number of 2009 holiday sales – the estimate is quite a mixed bag.

The NRF estimated that the 2009 holiday sales will decline by 1 percent overall compared to last year. Despite the decline, it is showing the sign of slowing down, as 2008 holiday sales dropped by 3.4 percent compared to the 2007 result.

Image courtesy of CNN Money
Image courtesy of CNN Money

The figures are not that encouraging, but at least the decline slows down. But nevertheless, we need to wait until the official NRF Black Friday results are in this Sunday.

The Black Friday results will actually be published on Sunday, but retailers do report encouraging sales and strong crowds.

Ah yes – the crowds.

The 2008 Black Friday was marked by a ‘brutal’ death of a part time worker of WalMart who was allegedly died in a shopper crazy stampede in Valley Stream, NY, US. This year, however, the Black Friday passed without such incident, despite a report telling that a store in Upland, CA, was forced to shot its doors because of shoppers’ shopping frenzy (It reminds me of the piranhas in a feeding frenzy I saw with my son at Sea World – LOL.)

A good sign of the economic recovery?

Does the 2009 Black Friday make an indicator that the economic downturn is finally turning around? It’s too early to say so and in my personal opinion, the economy will keep sliding slowly.

Some proofs: Bloomberg reports that despite the frenzy in 2009 Black Friday, some big retailers are actually seeing their stock prices plummet.

Walmart fell 33 cents to $54.63 yesterday in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. Richfield, Minnesota-based Best Buy lost 43 cents to $42.83. Macy’s, based in Cincinnati, dropped 59 cents to $16.97 yesterday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Source:

What’s more, US’ area retailers are actually seeing mixed results on Black Friday, as reported by Mooresville Tribune (Mooresville, NC.) Sears at Signal Hill Mall, Statesville is not really seeing what they expected – not much of a crowd, and sales are lukewarm, while K-Mart on East Broad Street, Statesville is reaping more than they expected.

We can’t really say the recession is over, according to some facts above. However, it’s too early to calls it quit. The holiday shopping season is not at the peak, yet (it usually peaks in mid-December) – Let’s wait and see :)

Ivan Widjaya
2009 Black Friday boom… or bust?
Top-left image by planetwrite.