What Black Friday Can Tell You About 2009 Holiday Sales

Today’s Wall Street Journal opinion piece from Joe Queenan takes a humorous look at this holiday season’s retail sales. It’s refreshing, entertaining, and a little bit insightful. Also included below is a link to the Black Friday shopping chaos in a slideshow format.

From the Wall Street Journal:

“In all likelihood, this is not going to be a Christmas for the ages. Unemployment is high, consumer confidence is low, and even though some retailers are now talking about a better holiday season than the surveys suggest, this could be wishful thinking. Tellingly, some Christmas gift guides seemed to have thrown in the towel early this year. In its annual list of the season’s most exciting gift ideas, New York magazine included colored cellophane tape, reusable bags, and lip gloss. These are not exciting Christmas gift ideas. These would not be exciting Christmas gift ideas in Paraguay. A nation whose inhabitants would give each other inexpensive reusable bags for Christmas is clearly not expecting a V-shaped recovery.

“Also less than encouraging is the section in the December issue of Martha Stewart Living where the doyenne of décor explains how to make inexpensive cardboard gift boxes that are indistinguishable from lumps of coal. For a well-heeled individual to behave this way at this juncture in our history sends the worst message since George H.W. Bush bought several pairs of socks at a J.C. Penney in the middle of a recession. You’re really not helping to lift the mood of the country, Martha. You’re really not.”

See the full article in the Wall Street Journal’s coverage of star-spangled bargains, and also be sure to see the slideshow of Black Friday’s shopping madness.