Americans love their shopping sprees. Marketers have pushed people’s buttons for decades and impulse buying at high markups does not deter the programmed masses. Black Friday is going well so far for retailers. Those smart phones are really helping consumers find the hottest deals, so marketers will take note of how to program push messages in social media once they’ve mined data streams from mobile service providers. Opening the shopping season one day earlier probably won’t hurt overall results. When Americans are told to spend, they do so with abandon.
I was quite amused by multiple news stories of people pushing, shoving, kicking, fighting, sneaking, and cutting their way into line just for the privilege of being first to throw money away. Some people chose to steal goodies from other shoppers. Maybe there’s something wrong with me for finding such stories funny but I just don’t like people enough to think otherwise. People who base their pride on wild spending during the most costly shopping period of the year don’t deserve my sympathy.
I did some shopping today at my local discount clothing store, where there were no lines or shouting and the prices are rock-bottom throughout the year. I stocked up on socks, of all things, because I’m not going to count on simple retail items being available in abundant quantities during a hyperinflationary depression. I have been quietly accumulating the basic things I’ll need in advance of the next crisis.
Americans’ spending binge will continue until it cannot continue. Interest rates at zero are untenable. I won’t be anywhere near a retail chain or its common equity when our country passes the necessary inflection point.