Grinch: Ignore Black Friday Retail Forecasts


It’s Black Friday and you know what that means: Lots of promotional sales and lots of holiday retail spending forecasts. You can rely on the latter being ubiquitous and wrong; some by a little, most by a lot.

At least, that’s what the statistically likely outcome is.

As we have seen historically, holiday sales forecasts tend to be a reflection of people’s mood at the moment — not an actual measure of intended holiday spending. They are typically wrong by substantial amounts.

I’ve been tracking this nonsense for nearly two decades and it’s been shockingly consistent. Rather than bore you with (yet another) analysis of why the forecasts always seem to get it wrong, you can check out our collection of pre-pandemic Black Friday #Fails and run through the history yourself.

The annual NRF foolishness is out:

“NRF forecast earlier this month that holiday sales during November and December will grow between 6% and 8% over 2021 to between $942.6 billion and $960.4 billion. Last year’s holiday sales grew 13.5% over 2020 and totaled $889.3 billion, shattering previous records. Holiday retail sales have averaged an increase of 4.9% over the past 10 years, with pandemic spending in recent years accounting for considerable gains.”

Mark your calendars: We will revisit this in January when the official data comes out. In the meanwhile, here are a few lol headlines about the shopping season.

Holiday Shopping will be great! Or terrible! Or anything in between:

High Inflation to Tamp Down Gift Giving: Black Friday (Bloomberg November 24, 2022)

Black Friday kicks off an unpredictable holiday season. (NYT, November 25, 2022)

Shoppers expected to spend on Black Friday, despite inflation (CNN, November 25, 2022)

Inflations weighs on Black Friday shoppers (AP, November 25, 2022)

Why Black Friday Shoppers Aren’t Finding Door-Buster Deals This Year (WSJ, November 25, 2022) but see Black Friday Deals Arrived Early for Many Shoppers This Year (WSJ, November 14, 2022)

Lots more out there if you care to search for it…


See also:
Record 166.3 Million Shoppers Expected During Thanksgiving Weekend (NRF, November 17, 2022)

Black Friday #Fails


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