Happy Black Friday: There is something to be said for consistency. For the 10th year in a row, I plan to stay awake from 5am on Thanksgiving Day right through until about 5pm on Black Friday visiting as many retail stores as humanly possible. It's a ritual I started back when I was a young, hungry stock analyst trying to gain a competitive edge vs. the old, stuck in their way investment bank analysts. The rationale for this insanity: with a retailer's story always being formed at the store level, getting out as early as possible on Black Friday to observe shopper patterns opened the door to some amazing stock calls for clients. Now a hungry journalist that sleeps about three hours a day, the ritual has formed into reporting from the stores and resisting the urge to pick stocks. So what have I seen almost three hours into walking stores this year...
...The Amazon effect is getting worse: I have already visited three Kmart stores and one Walmart (WMT) store. The crowds at these Thanksgiving Day openings continues to dwindle each year. This year, crowds have been sparse likely as more people are shopping on mobile devices to utilize Amazon (AMZN) Prime benefits. Sears (SHLD) should be petrified by its early traffic at Kmart. Walking Kmart today is a reminder on why this could be the discount chain's final holiday season. Promotions aren't compelling as Kmart tries to maximize profits. The toy section isn't as stocked as Walmart probably as vendors have grown skittish on Kmart's future. Not enough store walks under my belt to report anything on Walmart. Stay tuned into @BrianSozzi on Twitter.
Go out and buy a car on Black Friday: It's all about getting a major deal on a new car or truck this Black Friday weekend, points out TheStreet's Kinsey Grant. Edmunds estimates 1,422,212 new cars and trucks will be sold in November. That's a 3.5% increase from last November and a 5.3% gain over October. Honda Motor Co. (HMC) , Nissan (NSANY) and Volkswagen (VLKAY) are on track to notch the biggest year-over-year November sales increases this month on the back of a deeper promotions. Speaking of cars, nice win for Tesla's (TSLA) Elon Musk on his promise to build a giant battery facility in Australia.
Around the Horn With Walmart's CEO
Enjoy our final installment with Walmart's CEO Doug McMillon. It was interesting to hear his look back to the first day on the job as CEO of the world's largest retailer.
Your Daily Long Read
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