Catherine Blair Pfander
The numbers are in, and it looks like Black Weekend shoppers--though on the streets in full force--still kept a firm grip on their purse strings this year. Like timid squirrels in the park, shoppers were coerced to spend again, but only in small nibbles--not big bites.
According to the National Retail Foundation, "195 million shoppers visited stores and Web sites on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, up from 172 million last year. However, spending over the weekend dropped to $343.31 per person on average from $372.47 a year ago. Total spending reached an estimated $41.2 billion." (WWD)
News of our still-mediocre economic reality comes in sharp relief to the anecdotal experience of Black Weekend, which would suggest that people were shopping like crazed, deal-thirsty bargain zombies. For example, someone probably should have informed the extremely sweaty woman who elbowed us directly in the ribcage while rifling through Zara's bin of belts that this was not, after all, the most Epic Black Friday Ever.
Or the man who practically raced us up the stairs at Eastern Mountain Sports.
Or the 13-year-old girl so hell-bent on gaining entry to Victoria's Secret before us, she lost her balance and tripped over her furry high-heel boots and face-planted directly on the sidewalk.
Such are the grim scenes we witnessed firsthand on Friday afternoon. We sustained one bruise, lost out on two pairs of cute shoes, and can't find a coat button ... now they tell us nobody was really shopping? What was everyone in New York doing --,faking?