Nowhere was the traffic void this weekend more evident than the Saks flagship store in New York City, with sales down 20 percent.
Just Wednesday I warned on CNBC's "Street Signs," business at Saks seemed particularly slow going into holiday. The level of markdown inventory the week before Super Saturday told the story, as did the ability to hear a pin drop during a 60 percent off sale. Sales associates are simply at a loss to explain why the customer has not shown up. Some are telling me this is the worst they have seen during their career with the company.
Everyone is looking for an explanation. First, it was super storm Sandy, then it was the "fiscal cliff," and now the nation mourns for Newtown, Conn. Maybe it is all just too much.
By the way, I am not picking on Saks — the luxury retailer has plenty of company.