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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Wall Street Journal: "This will go down as one of the worst holiday season on record . . . even more dire than had been expected"

Price-slashing failed to rescue a bleak holiday season for beleaguered retailers, as sales plunged across most ategories on shrinking consumer spending, according to new data released Thursday. Despite a flurry of last-minute shoppers lured by the deep discounts, total retail sales fell over the year-earlier period by 5.5% in November and 8% in December through christmas Eve, according to MasterCard Inc.'s SpendingPulse unit. Considering individual sectors, "This will go down as the one of the worst holiday sales seasons on record," said Mary Delk, a director in the retail practice at consulting firm Deloitte LLP. "Retailers went from 'Ho-ho' to 'Uh oh' to 'Oh-no.'" The holiday retail-sales decline was much worse than the already-dire picture painted by industry forecasts, which had predicted sales ranging from a 1% drop to a more optimistic increase of 2.2%

That explains these images:
 

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not a nut
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It's good to see the consumer taking some responsibility for their spending habbits. I am giving out money this year and let each family spend it on what THEY really need.
Same here.... gift cards are much better then guessing what they want (they never tell ya) or getting the wrong color/style/size, makes my life easier too.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Be careful with gift cards...

There are some places that I would have bought [gift cards from] before that this year I’m not going to buy, because I’m not sure if they're going to be around a year from now," said one shopper....


Something else to be aware of; swindlers who make note of the number on the back of the gift card in the store, check online to see if it had been activated, and then cash in the card on the retailer's website.
http://www.nbcactionnews.com/conten...Gift-Card-Dangers/ZwwhadfDdUCHDyVe1jgW0Q.cspx
 

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I've been sending Visa gift cards to my daughters who live in America.
They get what they want and the postage does'nt kill me. No problems....
 
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