Amazon Turns 20


On July 16th Amazon will be celebrating the companies 20th birthday in a big way…..
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Obscene Profits by Government

Economist Mark J. Perry makes this point about Black Friday retail sales:

On Black Friday, avg retailer will make $3.30 in profits per $100 of sales, but the average state/local government’s take will be almost $7

Black Friday New Hot Item: Guns

gun owner

Black Friday saw long lines at Best Buy, Walmart and other retailers. One other business sector stayed swamped that many did not think of: gun dealers. The FBI reported their division that does background checks for gun purchases had to endure 17 work days to keep up with gun purchases on Friday. Here is a report from CNN:

The busiest shopping day of the year also saw a major boom for gun sales, with the federal background check system setting a record of more than 175,000 background checks Friday, according to the FBI.
The staggering number of checks — an average of almost three per second, nearly three times the daily average — falls on the shoulders of 600 FBI and contract call center employees who will endure 17-hour workdays in an attempt to complete the background reviews in three business days, as required by law, FBI spokesman Stephen Fischer said. “Traditionally, Black Friday is one of our busiest days for transaction volume,” Fischer said.

An average of three background checks happened every second. Here is some information on how background checks get denied and some stats on that.

Overall, about 186,000 background checks a year cannot be completed, according to the FBI. It’s difficult to know exactly how many gun sales are authorized from that number because whether to make the sale is ultimately in the hands of the shop owner. Last year, the agency completed 21 million background checks, and about 1.1% of those purchases were denied, the agency said. Firearm background checks have doubled from the more than 9 million conducted when the system was implemented in 1999.
Ten factors can disqualify a purchase: felony conviction, arrest warrant, documented drug problem, mental illness, undocumented immigration status, dishonorable military discharge, renunciation of U.S. citizenship, restraining order, history of domestic violence or indictment for any crime punishable by longer than one year of prison.

Where Did the Term “Black Friday” Come From?

Economically speaking today is “The Day” for many retailers to take in massive amounts of revenue from eager holiday shoppers. “Black Friday” has been embedded into the American culture for many decades now. The term itself is hardly ever explored in its origin. I have found one historical explanation via The American Dialect Society:

[From *Public Relations News*, 18 December 1961, p. 2. This weekly
newsletter was published by Denny Griswold of 815 Park Avenue, New
York, NY.]

Santa has brought Philadelphia stores a present in the form of “one of
the biggest shopping weekends in recent history.” At the same time,
it has again been proven that there is a direct relationship between
sales and public relations.

For downtown merchants throughout the nation, the biggest shopping
days normally are the two following Thanksgiving Day. Resulting
traffic jams are an irksome problem to the police and, in
Philadelphia, it became customary for officers to refer to the
post-Thanksgiving days as Black Friday and Black Saturday. Hardly a
stimulus for good business, the problem was discussed by the merchants
with their Deputy City Representative, Abe S. Rosen, one of the
country’s most experienced municipal PR executives. He recommended
adoption of a positive approach which would convert Black Friday and
Black Saturday to Big Friday and Big Saturday. The media cooperated
in spreading the news of the beauty of Christmas-decorated downtown
Philadelphia, the popularity of a “family-day outing” to the
department stores during the Thanksgiving weekend, the increased
parking facilities, and the use of additional police officers for
guaranteeing a free flow of traffic … Rosen reports that business
over the weekend was so good that merchants are giving downtown
Philadelphia “a starry-eyed new look.”

2014 Holiday Retail Sales Projected to be Higher



Will 2014 be a jolly holiday for retailers?
The National Retail Federation says yes, projecting November and December U.S. retail sales to rise 4.1 percent, which would be the biggest increase in three years and would be above the 10-year average of 2.9 percent. The group is forecasting sales (not including autos, gas or restaurants) of $616.9 billion for the period this year.