There are some business stories that run every year which are even more reliable than death and taxes. The week after Thanksgiving we get the stories about how Black Friday (and now Cyber Monday — which is an entirely fictitious thing now accepted as a fact by the journalistas) were great for sales and it’s going to be a great holiday sales season. This year that was only tempered by Wal-Mart saying that their sales over that weekend were not so good. As December continues the whistling past the graveyard gets louder as analysts and retailers say more glowing things about the sales numbers and reporters continue to write them up. Then, as inevitably as the Cubs not making the World Series, we get:
After a robust start to the holiday season, many stores struggled with disappointing business in December, and a shopping surge in the final days before and after Christmas wasn’t strong enough to make up for lost sales.
This is not a failure of business, this is a failure of journalism. It’s like the reporters suffer a collective brain freeze every November which doesn’t thaw until after New Year’s. At the very least every story on this subject next November should include comparisons between what was forecast post-Thanksgiving and what actually happened in previous years.