Saturday, November 28, 2015

Back in the Black Friday

"Now that Black Friday Week is upon us...."

Oh, so now it's a WEEK!

"Preparation is key to not drowning in a sea of holiday sales" by Taryn Luna Globe Correspondent  November 25, 2015

Retailers hope this is the most wonderful time of the year, with holiday shoppers lured into stores and onto websites by a nearly constant drumbeat of deals.

But often, the endless stream of snap sales leaves customers confused, wondering exactly when is the best time to buy that giant-screen television or discounted cashmere sweater.

Walmart and Target hyped their first “doorbusters” before the jack-o-lanterns started to rot. Now that Black Friday Week is upon us, is it better to buy on Gray Thursday, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, or Giving Tuesday? Or to hold off altogether until just before the holidays?

Or not bother at all?

Retailers are purposely drowning shoppers in a sea of deals, analysts say, a ploy to confuse consumers and then entice them to buy impulsively without knowing if the deal of the day would be even cheaper tomorrow, or next week. But you don’t need a crystal ball to confidently sort through the sales gimmicks to find the best bang for your buck, the experts say.

I love the $elf-$erving di$hone$ty of AmeriKan bu$ine$$, don't you?

“It’s the great unknown: Is there a better deal tomorrow?” said Marshal Cohen, chief retail analyst at NPD Group. “It does pay to do your homework.”

Holiday sales are expected to increase 3.7 percent, according to National Retail Federation estimates. Analysts expect toys related to the upcoming release of “Star Wars: Episode VII” to fly off the shelves, but they bemoan a lack of innovative new gadgets to drive sales.

It's toys they want now, or so I am told.

The average shopper is expected to spend $805.65 over the holidays. Experts say you can figure out the smartest way to spend your money by understanding the nature of the sale and the items on your Christmas list.

Related: The Triumph Of Materialism: The Average American Will Spend 830 Dollars On Christmas In 2015

As a general rule, sales that span an entire category of products will only get better with time, Cohen said. For example, if Macy’s announces a sale on all of its outerwear, it means the store has a surplus of coats and jackets and needs to clear out inventory before the season ends. And given the unseasonably warm fall, there’s likely to be a glut this year.

In this case, Cohen said, patience pays because prices will continue to decline as the holiday nears.

On the flip side, shoppers should scoop up deals on individual products while they can. Retailers often make special arrangements with suppliers for a particular model of television or computer. These deals are often in limited supply and won’t be available again, Cohen said.

What? The TV advertisements never tell you that!

Another piece of advice: Before you spend hours in line outside Walmart to snag a 70-inch Vizio Smart HDTV, you should call the store to ask about inventory. Some stores include the number of doorbuster items available in their advertising circulars.

I think I'll just stay home.

There’s nothing worse than skipping Thanksgiving dinner to stand around in the cold if you end up missing out on the deal because the store offered only 25 televisions at the bargain price and you were the 26th shopper in line.

Walmart, for instance, guarantees that a small number of its best deals will be available for one hour after the store opens its doors.

Websites dedicated to sorting through deals can also be helpful resources, said Edgar Dworsky, the founder of

One site,, aggregates prices for specific models of televisions, tablets, and other products to determine which retailer is offering the best bargains.

Another,, offers historical prices for particular items, Dworsky said.

“You can’t assume that every item advertised on Black Friday is a great deal,” Dworksy said. “You have to develop this price consciousness.”

Why is the foundation of AmeriKan bu$ine$$ deception? 

Buyer beware, 'eh?

One major benefit of online shopping is that consumers can sometimes snag doorbusters from the comfort of their living rooms.

The drawback is NO ANCILLARY SPENDING on impulse purchases or the food court! No $pillover into the larger economy!

Many deals go live online at specific times, which retailers describe on their websites and in holiday advertisements. For example, Target launched some of its best deals in stores and online Wednesday. Walmart is offering doorbusters online beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning.

A survey of digital shopping habits and prices found that the days before Black Friday are often the best time to shop, because product availability is high and prices are relatively low, according to Adobe Digital Index, a marketing research firm. Prices were often cheapest on Thanksgiving or Black Friday, but shoppers risk losing out on deals because of limited inventory, said Tamara Gaffney, principal research analyst at Adobe.

Look at all the MIXED ME$$AGES!! Wait for the deal, don't wait!

Cyber Monday isn’t as important as it once was due to the rise in mobile phone shopping and early onset of digital deals.

Bad news for Walmart then.

Cohen of NPD said it also pays to be flexible. Retailers often offer the season’s best deals after the holidays to clear out winter inventory, which means that a gift card goes further. Of course a big downside to waiting until after the holidays — or shopping at the last minute before then — is that sizes and colors might be limited, Cohen added. 

I'm about ready to get the f*** out of here!

He advises shoppers not to get too stressed over holiday shopping. The legion of deals means you can typically find a good price.

Don’t fret if you miss out on a deal,” Cohen said. “There’s going to be someone else, somewhere else, sometime else with the same deals.”

Do I look like I'm worried?


"Black Friday becoming less vital to retailers; Year-round sales, online shopping cutting in" by Hiroko Tabuchi and Nelson D. Schwartz New York Times  November 25, 2015

Black Friday has lost its distinctive edge. Sure, tens of millions of Americans will still hit the malls this Friday. But the relentless race for holiday dollars has blunted the day’s oomph, as stores offer deep discounts weeks before Thanksgiving and year-round deals in stores and online are breeding sales fatigue. Some fed-up shoppers cheered this year when outdoors retailer REI declared it was opting out of Black Friday sales altogether.

Look at this pathetic propaganda pre$$ talk the $hitty economy down as they try to pimp for corporate sales!

On the eve of yet another Thanksgiving weekend, retail experts and economists are asking the question: Is Black Friday over?

“It definitely matters so much less than it’s mattered in the past,” said John J. Canally, chief economic strategist at LPL Research. “The last couple of years, ‘Black Friday disappoints’ has been the usual story.”


But contrary to doom-and-gloom predictions this holiday season, dwindling sales for the long Thanksgiving weekend (which now begins Thursday afternoon) do not necessarily signal a cautious consumer. Americans are generally spending just as much of their hard-earned dollars as in the past.

Spending just as much, not more, and here I was just told we were all cash-rich right now! $illy me!

Overall consumer spending since the beginning of 2014 has risen at a rate of 3 percent after lackluster gains in 2012 and 2013, and most stores rack up decent profits, on an earnings per share basis, during their holiday quarter.

The decline of Black Friday instead points to a shift in the way consumers spend their money.

“They’re online,” Canally said. “And they’re spending more on experiences. A day at the spa, a baseball game, the ballet — rather than a sweater or a pair of socks that no one wants.”


Those are what I get every year!

As a result, retailers rang up $51 billion on the day after Thanksgiving last year, down from a peak of almost $60 billion in 2012, according to the San Diego-based private equity firm LPL Research, which crunched data from the National Retail Federation and comScore. 

The lackluster spending was a peak! 


The history of Black Friday tracks the history of modern US retailing, and of personal consumption in the United States, which makes up a bigger part of the economy than in almost any other industrialized country.

Consumer spending’s share of total economic output grew substantially in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s. And shopping became almost a 24/7 activity.

Holiday sales begin earlier and earlier. Discounting escalated by leaps and bounds in the dismal years after the housing boom collapsed and Lehman Bros.’ failure ushered in a global financial panic. Sales that had generally been confined to two times a year multiplied.

Target now offers 10 days of deals leading up to Black Friday.

Old Navy will stay open for 32 consecutive hours, starting at 4 p.m. Thanksgiving Day.

But Paul Arnhold is not interested.

Me neither.

Several Black Fridays ago, he trekked with his wife to a packed furniture store for a deal on a digital photo frame — only to find the store had long sold out of the item.

This year, the Arnholds, who live in Lenexa, Kansas, part of the Kansas City metropolitan area, are spreading out their Christmas shopping, grabbing Royals commemorative gear in post-World Series sales, and scouring e-commerce sites like Etsy for handmade gifts.

They ship from Ireland.

A lot of their recent spending has also gone into their new home, which they bought in May.

They have refinished the hardwood floors and hired a carpenter to build cabinets and shelves and to touch up their fireplace.

“Waiting in lines forever and other crazy things just makes you think: Is it worth it?” said Paul Arnhold, 35, who works in customer marketing at Lexmark, the software and printer company. “The last place I want to be this weekend is in a store.”

You won't find me in any.

Some of Arnhold’s spending patterns are mirrored in recent retail data. Spending on autos, home furnishings, sports and hobbies, and eating out grew much faster than spending on clothing, accessories or electronics.

While wages have stagnated and the recovery over the past six years has fallen short of past trends, consumer spending still represents nearly 70 percent of economic activity....

Which is why this economy is cratering. All the wealth is in the hands of the 1%.


Good thing it is a week now, huh?


"Massport shipping terminal bucks industry trend" by Jon Chesto Globe Staff  November 25, 2015

Major shipping companies have been in frenzied merger and acquisition talks, the sector’s largest player is laying off a chunk of its workforce, and the biggest ports in the United States are reporting a slowdown in activity.

But if an industrywide slump is taking shape, you wouldn’t know it based on what’s happening at the Conley Terminal in South Boston.

Monthly imports at the nation’s three largest ports — Los Angeles, Long Beach, Calif., and New York harbor — fell by more than 10 percent from August to October during a normally busy time for shipping activity, according to figures reported last week by The Wall Street Journal. The Journal reported that this was the first time in at least a decade that imports fell in September and October at the three ports, which handle roughly half of the goods coming to the US by sea....

And yet the government and corporate media are trying to tell us everything is great!


Related: Man killed in Natick parking lot incident

Maybe you best avoid the mall after all:

"Chinatown store owner charged with selling stolen goods" by Laura Crimaldi Globe Staff  November 25, 2015

Investigators allege the deep discounts and wide selection were hardly a retail marvel, but rather the work of an illicit shoplifting operation in which thieves pilfered merchandise from nearby stores in Downtown Crossing and their ill-gotten goods were resold for a song at My-Tan Fashion in Chinatown.

“There’s been a history of shoplifters who have been stopped at places like CVS and Macy’s,” Suffolk Assistant District Attorney Michele Granda said Wednesday in Boston Municipal Court. “When questioned about where it is they’re taking the product they say they’re taking it to My-Tan Fashion.”

Granda spoke as the store’s owner, Phuong Quach, 54, and two employees, Feng Deng, 71, and Cindy Tran, 49, answered charges resulting from a 10-month investigation into the business by Boston police.

Investigators searched the shop Tuesday and seized about 5,000 pieces of merchandise valued at an estimated $100,000 as part of a probe dubbed “Operation Sunblock,” authorities said.

The seized items included Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, beauty products, cookware, and batteries, police photographs show.

Officers also took handbags and wallets that appeared to be counterfeit and sold under designer labels like Coach and Burberry, according to the district attorney’s office.

In an interview with detectives, Quach allegedly said that she purchased stolen items from individuals who approached her, and that the inventory of My-Tan Fashion is made up of purloined goods, except for souvenirs and items she buys in New York, according to a police report filed in court.

The case against Quach and her deputies is believed to be the first brought under a state law that went into effect in April targeting organized retail crime, officials said.

Some of the people believed to be involved in the shoplifting ring showed signs of drug addiction, Granda said. In one instance, a Macy’s security officer reported watching a thief steal a watch and then walk directly to My-Tan Fashion, she said.

“The store was packed to the gills with product,” Granda said. “It would be the equivalent of a hoarder store, in the sense that you really couldn’t go in and just shop. You would need to know to some extent what it is you were going in to purchase.”

It took police at least 10 hours to go through the premises, she said.

“These individuals thought they could operate in the city of Boston and undermine legitimate, hardworking business owners,” Police Commissioner William B. Evans said in a press release.

Not-guilty pleas were entered on behalf of the women, who are charged with receiving stolen property worth over $250, distributing counterfeit goods, and aggravated organized retail crime.

CVS Health Corp. spokesman Mike DeAngelis said the shoplifting ring affected about six CVS stores in Downtown Crossing and involved “thousands of dollars” in merchandise. “We’re very appreciative of the Boston Police Department for their leadership on this investigation and the fantastic result in the uncovering of this establishment,” DeAngelis said.

Quach has run afoul of the law at the store before. Court records show she was accused in 2011 of selling crack pipe kits to undercover officers, but the charges were eventually dismissed.

My-Tan Fashion, which is located among restaurants and jewelry stores, was shuttered and locked Wednesday afternoon. It is connected to the Super 99¢ Plus store.

Carol Bannerman, who works nearby, said she has purchased candy and soda at My-Tan Fashion. Never did she see anything suspicious there.

“I never saw anybody who looked like they were fencing stuff,” Bannerman said. “We called it a jumble shop because it was a jumble of everything.”


Let me check my wallet:

Stocks end the day little changed

Stocks inch higher in quiet trading, but Disney stumbles

New York to investigate fake online stock bids

I thought he was looking into the fantasy football!

"Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s letter responded to a plea from a “group of humble savers” that included consumer advocate Ralph Nader frustrated by low returns gained from traditional bank deposits and money- market accounts. “We want to know why the Federal Reserve, funded and heavily run by the banks, is keeping interest rates so low that we receive virtually no income for our hard-earned savings while the Fed lets the big banks borrow money for virtually no interest,” it read.  Yellen told the group that lower borrowing costs helped make large purchases more affordable for American consumers, supporting the economy, and creating “millions of jobs.”

She is delusional, and they an$wered their own question.

"Bets on higher rates have risen as a resilient US labor market powers consumer spending, adding to signs that the economy may be robust enough to withstand higher rates." 

That make you guys happy now? 

Adult employment is at its lowest in eight decades, but don't let that spoil the narrative.

"Black Friday draws the familiar lines" by Jessica Geller Globe Correspondent  November 28, 2015

It was the familiar Black Friday drill: Eager shoppers began queueing in the dark of night, while those who couldn’t wait were able to nail specials that retailers had posted online on Thanksgiving Day.

But there were several notable events that made the unofficial start of the holiday season a little different this year.

In Chicago, hundreds of protesters upset at the shooting death of a black 17-year-old by a white police officer blocked shoppers from entering some of the city’s marquee stores. The demonstrators linked arms to form human chains in front of main entrances to stores, prompting employees to direct shoppers to exit from side doors. Entrances were blocked at Sak’s Fifth Avenue, the Disney Store, the Apple Store, Nike, Tiffany & Co., and Neiman Marcus.

Many shoppers seemed to take the disturbance in stride, and some even snapped photos of the crowd.

Meanwhile in Colorado, where marijuana is now legal, several marijuana shops got into the holiday spirit with specials of their own for shoppers who braved subfreezing temperatures and snow showers.

That's a flip.

At the Denver Kush Club, the first few customers got free joints, free rolling papers and a T-shirt with their purchase. Medical customers were offered ounces of marijuana for $99, a savings of about 50 percent. The shop blasted reggae music and welcomed the crowd with cheers. Similar deals were offered last year, the first year for retail recreational marijuana sales.

‘‘We get a lot of people in the first few hours, just like any store on Black Friday,’’ said co-owner Joaquin Ortega. He said marijuana gift-giving is becoming more common, though most were shopping for themselves Friday.


"The rate at which new businesses are formed has fallen steadily since 1984, a trend that accelerated during and after the Great Recession, according to research by University of Maryland economist John Haltiwanger and several co-authors. Since the recession ended, more businesses have failed every year than have formed."

In Massachusetts, shopping malls reported long lines early in the day, and the Boston Public Market was open for its first Black Friday.

Is that where they stopped for lunch?

For the first time, analysts had predicted more than half of online traffic to retail sites would come from smartphones rather than desktops during the four-day Black Friday holiday shopping weekend.

RelatedMore online shoppers use cell phones, not tablets

Then you will have to pay for the charge.

On Friday, there was evidence that consumers were vacillating between shopping in stores and online.

Walmart Stores Inc.’s chief merchandising officer, Steve Bratspies, told the Associated Press that the chain saw more shoppers buying both on its website and in its stores than the same time a year ago.

See the back page for more.

Target chief executive Brian Cornell said online sales on Thanksgiving were strong, outpacing the performance on the holiday a year ago. That made it Target’s biggest day online for sales yet, driven largely by the purchase of electronics. 

The hack is down the memory hole.

And J.C. Penney’s CEO, Marvin Ellison, said the chain worked hard to make its app more user friendly, and as a result, its online sales.

‘‘We saw customers going back and forth, researching online and then go to the stores,’’ he said.

Better check that deal price.



Do You Remember When Black Friday Actually Still Mattered In America?

Black Friday: Watch Poor Americans Fighting Each Other For Cheap Chinese Goods

Gone Christmas Shopping 

How are you going to pay for those purchases?

Maybe I can have them delivered this year (no tip, sorry). 

Either way, it's a GREEN Chri$tmas:

"Promoting local Christmas tree farms, governor declares today ‘Green Friday’" by Felicia Gans Globe Correspondent  November 27, 2015

Massachusetts residents were still finishing Thanksgiving leftovers Friday, but state leaders were already turning their attention to Christmas trees.

Governor Charlie Baker declared Friday to be “Green Friday” in recognition of the Christmas tree season and the benefits it has for the state’s economy and environment. And to celebrate the day, local officials joined the Department of Agricultural Resources for the annual tree-cutting ceremony at Coward Farms in Southwick.

“By declaring the day after Thanksgiving as Green Friday, we recognize the contributions of Massachusetts Christmas tree growers to our economy, agricultural industry. and holiday season,” Baker said in a statement. “I encourage everyone to support our Christmas tree growers this holiday season by purchasing a Massachusetts-grown tree.”

Friday’s ceremony was intended to spotlight the work of nearly 400 Christmas tree farms that grow trees on about 3,000 acres of land from Cape Cod to the Berkshires, according to a statement from the Department of Agricultural Resources.

Each year, $1.4 million is added to the state’s economy from the sale of Massachusetts Christmas trees. The Christmas tree season also adds hundreds of seasonal jobs.

Additionally, Christmas trees farms help the environment, with one acre of 8- to 12-year-old trees removing nearly 500 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and adding about 1,000 pounds of oxygen, the department said.

I'm so sick of the goddamn agenda-pu$hing.

“We are honored to recognize Massachusetts Christmas tree growers who work hard to grow and care for trees that are ecologically beneficial to our environment,” department commissioner John Lebeaux said in the statement. “Our tree growers are committed to caring for the land, preserving open space, and implementing best management practices.”

Yeah, they take better care of them than the state.

A 2012 agriculture census organized by the US Department of Agriculture tallied 52,188 Christmas trees harvested across the state. And Julia Grimaldi, a program coordinator with the state’s department, said she expects the number will probably stay about the same this year.


Wouldn't it be more environmentally friendly to have a fake tree? 

"To cheers, Downtown Crossing tree illuminated" by Travis Andersen Globe Staff  November 28, 2015

Out with the turkeys, in with the tinsel.

Hundreds of shoppers took a break from their bargain hunting Friday evening to take in the annual tree lighting ceremony at Macy’s in Downtown Crossing.

Santa Claus led the crowd in a 10-second countdown at 6 p.m. before the massive pine tree was illuminated above the Macy’s entrance off Washington Street.

Cheers erupted as a brilliant display of multicolored lights shone on the tree and confetti and streamers burst into the night sky.

Just before Saint Nick took the stage, Mayor Martin J. Walsh briefly addressed the crowd and thanked Macy’s for being “a great partner to our city” and for staging their iconic Thanksgiving Day parade in New York.

Before Walsh’s remarks, the crowd heard musical performances from acts including the Boston Children’s Chorus, jazz artist Elan Trotman, and Meghan Linsey, a contestant on season eight of the popular TV series “The Voice.”

“Merry Christmas, love ya,” Linsey told the crowd after her set.

She also had kind words for the Hub.

“I love Boston so much,” the pop singer gushed, adding that she “totally” wanted to go shopping and was envious of spectators who had already done so.

Among the speakers was New England Patriots backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who promoted the Make-A-Wish Foundation before heading backstage to chat with the mayor and other guests. The crowd even got a visit from Snoopy, who was on hand to unveil Macy’s Peanuts-themed holiday display windows.

Boston police Commissioner William B. Evans, whose officers kept watch over the festivities, and City Councilor-elect Annissa Essaibi George also attended the ceremony. 

Did she have a seat on the stage?

The Boston Common tree lighting is set for Dec. 3.


RelatedHoliday light show set to illuminate Boston

"Cafe, WGBH studio coming to Boston Public Library" by Taryn Luna Globe Correspondent  November 10, 2015

The hulking 1970s-era stone building appended to the stately 1895 Boston Public Library is about to make a bit of history of its own — housing a new library cafe and providing a satellite home to public radio and television.

The plan, part of the venerable institution’s bid to become more of a public space, will transform the first floor of the Johnson Building into an all-day cafe and WGBH satellite studio. The setup will allow pedestrians to watch live television and radio broadcasts through windows on Boylston and Exeter streets, in a Boston version of the street-level studio in New York’s Rockefeller Center for the “Today” show.

The plan, approved by the library’s board of trustees Tuesday, is part of a $78 million renovation to improve the appearance and functionality of the building, seen by many as uninspiring. The space is expected to open next summer.

Which is great, libraries are important; however, how many homeless can amount that shelter?

“We believe this will help animate the space and provide a gathering spot for patrons of the library, as well as draw people into the Johnson Building,” said David Leonard, the library’s interim president.

The late mayor Thomas M. Menino started the renovation project in late 2013.

The plan is to modernize the facility to make it more aligned with what people see as a library of today, switching out musty old carpets and a structured floor plan for open spaces, places for group activities, and an atmosphere that is generally more welcoming.

The initial phase of the project converted the second floor into a new children’s library filled with bright colors.

The project is the latest transformation of the BPL — the first large, free municipal library in the country — from a beloved but underfunded civic institution to a modern facility that capitalizes on its beauty and grandeur to make money.

The corporate mind$et has infected all levels of government!

The first contract with a caterer was signed in 2008, and dozens of weddings have since been celebrated in the stately McKim Building, the older structure to which the Johnson was attached.

In the latest project, Catered Affair, the Rockland events company hired in 2008 to cater events at the library, will operate the Newsfeed Cafe. The company currently operates the Map Room Cafe and the Courtyard Restaurant, both in the McKim Building.

A recent outside assessment of the library — conducted after the institution made national headlines last summer for misplacing valuable prints — has identified a need for more resources.

WGBH and Catered Affair are paying $135,000 per year to lease the space under a five-year contract. After hours, the 4,500-square-foot cafe and studio will serve as an events space, with the library charging groups that use it a rental fee.

The station was approached about a potential lease by an outside company hired by the library to search for vendors, said Ben Godley, the station’s chief operating officer. Godley said WGBH could not afford the lease on its own and asked Catered Affair to team up.

The studio is WGBH’s first satellite station outside its Brighton newsroom and will be housed in an 800-square-foot open space in the same area as the cafe, which will be open during regular library hours, with limited table service in the evening.

Godley said the station intends to use the noise inside the library as ambient sound in its programs, but may have to close off part of the studio.

The station will probably record segments for the local program “Boston Public Radio,” a news podcast called “The Scrum,” and “Greater Boston,” a television news and analysis show, among other programs.

WBGH also intends to work with the library to offer yet-to-be-determined children’s programming.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to connect with the public to showcase the work that we do everyday in our newsroom and further our mission of educational services,” Godley said.

Plans call for the cafe to offer a combination of counter service and grab-and-go food, according to a proposal submitted to the library. Food will be prepared in an existing kitchen in the McKim Building.

The library issued an initial request for proposals in March.

More than 100 businesses and nonprofits were contacted, and the library received three applications, including one for a restaurant by Cafe ArtScience of Cambridge and a proposal for a cafe and retail store from Storytime Stories.


Also see:

Phillips Academy leader to guide Boston Public Library search

Mayor Walsh appoints 2 new Boston Public Library trustees

I'm glad he found some replacements.


Criminal probe into misplaced BPL artwork quietly ends

BPL Foundation names longtime Gardner official executive director

BPL assessing rare book section after mold outbreak

"Shoppers take to the streets in the rain to support small businesses" by Eric Bosco Globe Correspondent  November 28, 2015

Holiday spending in the state is expected to be 6.5 percent higher than last year, according to Jon Hurst, president of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts.

Hurst attributed the spike to the overall improvement in the state’s economy, as well as promotions like Small Business Saturday, which was started by American Express in 2010.


“The more you promote days like this, the better,” said Hurst. “People are spending more now and doing a lot of that spending at small businesses, which is great to see, especially with [online retail] sites like Alibaba making such an impact.” 

I was told just yesterday that it was confusing customers, etc, and Alibaba is an online shopping site without all the ancillary spending I mentioned, but whatever!

Business during the holiday season makes up about 20 percent of a year’s sales for retailers, said Hurst, who urged shoppers to continue to support local shops all year.

“We really need to be thinking that small-business jobs are at risk,” he said. “Alibaba had one day this year where they made $15 billion. That’s more than our Massachusetts retailers get in one year.”

Small businesses have more costs, said Carl Richardson, 65, as he perused old movies at Kung Fu Video and DVD in downtown Boston.

“They have to pay high overhead and rent and maybe they can’t keep up with the online prices, but we have to support them,” he said.

The video store’s owner, James Bennett, said that days like Small Business Saturday provide great motivation to promote the small-business brand....

I'm sick of being promoted by the agenda-pu$hing paper, $orry.


Also seeCass Sunstein writing ‘Star Wars’ book

That's not on my reading list, nor is this.