Holiday smell test

For the past several years I’ve done an informal ‘smell test’ to estimate what the holiday sales numbers will be for that year.  As long as I stay general (good, bad, mediocre) it seems pretty accurate.  I’ll do it again, but here’s the test…

I drive near the big mall and go to the local walmart Black Friday afternoon.   I follow up by driving by both sometime the subsequent week.

If it’s going to be bad, you can tell on Friday.  The mall test is an estimate of how crowded the parking lot is.  An “ok” year needs to have it at least half full come 2 to 3 in the afternoon, and 3/4 is needed for ‘good’.  The Wal-Mart test is to walk through and see what the shelves are like.  Lots of empty gaps is good.  Stuff on the shelves but terribly disorganized means borderline.

The confirmation is the parking lot test.  The week after thanksgiving both parking lots need to be pushing half full for the holiday sales to be decent.

I’ll give my results next week, but thought I’d post my smell test for general consumption.

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