Shoppers Score Major Victory Against Recession

29Nov08

Henrietta, NY —

American shoppers – in just one single day – scored a major victory for the global economy.

In what will likely be known as the “Battle of Black Friday,” an overwhelming majority of average Americans showed up for duty, happily forking over their credit cards.

There was a sense of urgency in the air. A domestic D-Day, of sorts. Hard-scrabble shoppers – bags under their eyes, serious-looking faces – began forming lines at popular retail outlets well before pre-dawn openings.

“Yeah, things have been bad. But this is what we do. I’ve been shopping on the day after Thanksgiving with my girlfriends for years,” said Jill Johnson, a retired teacher, who was shopping yesterday at Henrietta’s Target.

Showing up in massive numbers that greatly exceeded expectations, shoppers sought deals with reckless abandon.

At 6:45 a.m., a happy mob of over 100 people had formed around the desk in Target’s electronics department. Spontaneously, as if on cue, they began to chant: “We want Wii. We want Wii.”

Enthusiastic shoppers gather around in the electronics department of Henrietta, NY's Target.

Enthusiastic shoppers gather in Target's electronics department in Henrietta, NY.

Similar scenes played out across the country.

Emotions were understandably hot and heavy on such an important day. In some locations, things got out of hand. Sadly, 2,000 frenzied Long Island shoppers trampled and killed a Wal-Mart employee.

But, far and away, yesterday’s events were peaceful. Some were even calling them heroic.

It was a far cry from the story line of the past few weeks. Serious doubts about the resiliency of the American shopper were commonplace.

“There won’t be a Christmas this year, no way,” said Tim Connor, senior economist at the American Consumer Society, at a recent Brookings Institute panel discussion. “Housing, the credit crunch. And now unemployment is rising. I just don’t think people will show up.”

Many others in the chattering class will, no doubt, be forced to revise their pessimistic forecasts too.

But while the victory will most likely prove to be pivotal, it alone will not be sufficient to stave off recession. Further purchasing will be necessary.

“This is a good start. But only a start. If Americans can continue to step up to the plate, like today, we just might come out of this okay,” said Jim Jeremiah, vice president of the US Chamber of Commerce.

Surely it is too early to say so. And I know I just might be jinxing our economic future. I don’t care. I just want to be the first to pass along the good news:

We did it! Recession defeated!

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One Response to “Shoppers Score Major Victory Against Recession”

  1. A friend of mine just emailed me one of your articles from a while back. I read that one a few more. Really enjoy your blog. Thanks


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