Shopping Relics: Why Black Friday and Cyber Monday Don’t Really Matter

Amazon employees load boxes at the company’s fulfillment center in Tracy, Calif., on Nov. 30 Photograph by David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

If the weekend surrounding Black Friday is really the important economic indicator it’s made out to be, there may be trouble coming. Total spending over the weekend dropped 11 percent from a year earlier, according to the National Retail Federation. Fewer people shopped than did last year; the decline encompassed both physical stores and websites; and those who did make purchases during the long weekend spent less money.

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