Black Friday: The Real Deal, Please

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The reports on Black Friday are in, and it looks like the day wasn't the retail bust everyone feared. According to ShopperTrak (it's a sort of newswire for retail information), nationwide Black Friday sales were up 3% compared to last year, with the South seeing the best improvement (3.4%) and the Northeast seeing the worst (2.6%). And according to WWD, the Macy's in Herald Square drew 5,000 shoppers out of bed at 5am for their unprecedented discounts.

But even though they also report that Target drew lines outside their store as early as 4am, there have also been reports that at least one Target was "depressingly empty."

Our date? We were out on Black Friday in Soho, and here's what we saw: No bigger a crowd than usual on Broadway, and barely trafficked stores to the east. Upon entering a certain (read: super expensive) boutique on Prince Street, the first thing the shopkeeper said: "Everything's 20% off, but if you see something you really like let me know. I'm wheeling and dealing today."

So we're wondering: Are all these reports of massive shopping true? Or are some people just trying to raise our confidence with (perhaps) inflated reports? What did you see for yourself on Friday? Or were the only things you saw leftovers and Love Actually?

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