The Week Unpeeled
Black Friday (which was more like Black Thursday) gave holiday shopping a black eye and sometimes literally as media coverage seemed to focus more on stun-gun antics (not kidding!) at malls between consumers, estimated at 140 million over the weekend, than actual sales figures, which weren’t too great (maybe Bleak Friday?) Big box stores appeared to do the best but this year an undertone of shopping rebellion was building as some op-eds (The Wall Street Journal, Saturday, Nov 30, 2013, Peggy Noonan, “Next Year Stay Home, America,” for example) asked for more thanks from Americans and less “nonessential commerce.” (A good op ed on the importance of dirty jobs, as well, by the way.)
- Cyber Monday also seemed less relevant this year and not so much of a novelty but heavy coverage and probably heavy sales expected no doubt;
- Stocks ended the month strong with the Dow up 3.5 percent in November and a strong 22.8 percent for the year so far;
- Bitcoins may be getting a bit more real the Channel island of Alderney in the UK planning to become the first “jurisdiction” to actually mint the coins in partnership with the UK’s Royal Mint;
- In The New York Times’ long profile on Bloomberg last week, the company said it would add around 100 newsroom positions in 2014 in a division called First Word, a service will produce short-form market-moving news, something that probably could also be called Fast-Market Twitter; and
- Wal-Mart announced that Douglas McMillon will become its next chief executive, who at 47 years old is the youngest CEO since Sam Walton.