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Black Friday: What It Really Tells Us About Consumer

Black Friday
CNBC.com
Black Friday

Will this week tell us anything about the state of the consumer or retail? After all, there is some controversy about just how big Black Friday is in terms of actual dollars spent and in-store traffic levels.

Each year, just how much Black Friday rings up seems to fluctuate but I would place my bets alongside analyst Dana Telsey in saying that the last ten days before Christmas make more of a difference in sales. Black Friday transactions account for 9-10 percent of holiday sales.

That said, what we will see this week is just whether the consumer shows up to spend in a slowing consumer environment. Store traffic could be considered a recession indicator.

If shoppers turn out in healthy numbers to shop around this event AND actually buy these promoted/marked down items, that is a sign that the consumer isn't panicked just yet.

We need Black Friday to be heavily trafficked and the malls to be full. That way we can all breathe a sigh of relief until the real buying bonanza begins right before Christmas.

Questions? Comments? retaildetail@cnbc.com