November 27, 2009


(When the collective psyche was overrun by Pokemon)

Only ten years ago - the Friday after Thanksgiving 1999. In retrospect, not much has changed, if you discount the Christmas ads starting just before Halloween, the lines forming in front of shopping malls and Walmarts before midnight - the twenty-four hour shopping, the conspicuous consumption, the unemployment, the numbers of bankrupt stores.

No, in 1999 it was considered an event, the real conspicuous consumption would take place ten days before Christmas as it always had. In 1999 consumer confidence was high, the stock market was barreling towards 10,000 and online shopping was a nice idea, but would never replace good ol' retail.

Lou Miliano (CBS News): “This is no longer the busiest shopping day over recent years. Most purchasing has been done ten days prior to Christmas. This has become more of an event. And with unemployment down and stock prices up and consumer confidence strong, retailers are hoping it’s an event that leads to a 5-6% increase in sales.”

Black Friday hadn't been invented yet - the world was dealing with Pokemon and the dreaded Y2K, just around the corner.

Times change, and in strange ways.

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