Friday, November 30, 2012

Arrrghhh! MSM please dig a little deeper

So I was going to let it go, but they just keep hitting me over the head with bad data so I have to say something.  Last week the National Retail Federation put out a laughable estimate of $423/shopper  for Black Friday spending.  Most media outlets have blindly repeated this ESTIMATE without questioning how it was calculated.

I thought I'd give you their sophisticated statistical formula that was used to calculate this number. 

Step 1) Ask a customer what they spent last year on Christmas.

Step 2) Ask them if they plan to spend more or less this year.

Step 3) Estimate that 40% of all sales occur on Black Friday and you get your "estimate"

Think about that for a second - we're not talking about transaction data, we're talking about using consumer estimates and the one thing that has been proven time and again is that consumers wildly overestimate what they are going to spend. 

I suspect that the National Retail Federation reports these "estimates" in order to create a bit of a shopping "frenzy" among the public.  The more times someone hears that the average shopper spent $423 on Black Friday, the more likely they are to feel like they are behind and they'll feel a need to get caught up.

Until we get some real data can we at least refer to this as a forecast or an estimate from a retail trade group?

1 comment:

Ethan White said...

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