Cyber, Black What?

Shopping Hype – Local, Cyber, Black what no one is falling for it?

We traveled the tri-state area quite a bit this past “post-Thanksgiving” weekend. And with all the chatter and talk (hype) about holiday shopping and promotions, I’d have to call it an outright BUST.

While “official” (take that with a grain of salt) estimates put the big Black Friday results at “11% down over last year,” I still don’t even buy that ONE BIT.

Judging from our anecdotal observations, the REAL numbers would probably be 50% less than last year. Of course, foreign money buying stuff at high-end stores like Saks Fifth Avenue probably factor in to some stupid formula somewhere… but the actual numbers of real cash in real everyday places for “everyday people” has to be half as much or even less.

Despite some “stampede hot spots” at soulless places like Walmart or Best Buy, the mad rush for unnecessary made in China consumer electronics seems to be going down. How much better can these things get? I’m still surprised that so many folks lined up for the iPhone 6. I guess psychological needs have to be met too. But then again, “TV” is the single MOST important thing in the world (even more so than water or air, I’m surmising…)

Target shoppers buy flat screen TV sets

Is it the 0.1% that’s doing all the “shopping?”

We’ve all heard about real estate going for astronomical prices – like the $90 million penthouse at that new 432 Park Avenue 1000′ high rise in Manhattan sold for, so maybe it’s just the 0.1% doing all the buying?

And speaking of “over-priced,” do any of you ever flip through that ridiculous Hammacher Schlemmer catalog? They have a few items that cost more than 99.9% of you make in a year.

The Celebrity Robot Avatar is one of them. $345,000. Yes. Three hundred and forty five THOUSAND dollars. Who buys that?

Robotic Avatar Hammacher Schlemmer

And even more “useless” is the 15 foot tall “Life Size Tyrannosaurus Rex Skeleton.” This will only set you back some pocket change. Just $100,000. A mere hundred grand. It’s not even REAL! It’s just a replica. But I guess you get a lot. Weighs 500 pounds short of a ton. No one in Hoboken would have room for this thing.

Life Size Tyrannosaurus Rex Skeleton Hammacher Schlemmer

What is the “truth” in the end?

Here’s how we sum it all up. The rich getting richer, and “everyone else” is not.

So whenever you see some kind of general report or review about statistics, numbers, figures – just know that there are a small number of people influencing said numbers (if you even believe ANY of them are accurate). Not you or me. No way.

The best way to “stick it to the man,” is to stop buying anything you do not need. Sure, essentials are always important – as well as supporting local businesses (even if for the sole purpose to prevent Hoboken from becoming a “Mile Square Wasteland.”) But will people ever free themselves from their own psychological prison in their mind? I highly doubt it.

In the end – I think MOST people understand what is going on, even if they can’t eloquently express it. Some kind of unwritten “calm before the storm” is causing people to all of a sudden be a bit more prudent in the way they outlay cash money. If you can find a shopping center that’s “bustling” with mad intensity the way it was 20 years ago – please let me know. Because I can’t find one.

What does that mean? “Enjoy the ride down!”

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