The 1Billion $ + Air Jordan brand of Nike shoes had frenzied crowds buying the Black and White Jordans that went on sale at mid-night Thursday. People lined up in thousands all over the US and needed police protection as they walked back to the parking lot with the $180 shoes. Many were put up at eBay and folks were asking for $500 to sell their "catch". Interestingly,in the rush to buy the new Jordans, some of the brand's fans left their perfectly good Nike shoes behind if you see the ABC video here ! The excitement around the brand got so out of control that Nike had to request loyalists to be safe and respectful.
If consumers in such large numbers could take such a lot of trouble for shoes, it sure could be a sign of increasing US consumer confidence.
Also helping public confidence was the two month extension of the payroll tax cut just before Christmas. That both parties could work together is happy news.
In the electronics space,the iPhone4S (with voice assistant Siri) was doing very brisk business. The iPhone Santa Ad is among the most successful ads of the holiday season.
The Apple business is highly digitized and integrates stores and website really well. If you could not find a 16 G White iPhone 4s in any Apple Store in Connecticut on Thursday, you were required to 'reserve" an iPhone starting at 9 pm at the Apple website. The only problem was that the Apple booking system went on crashing for at least 15-20 minutes before one could search for availability. Only one out of five stores had the iPhone and we could reserve one on line. At the store, after only a brief wait, we got the phone. That there was digital overload (no pushing inside the Apple mall store though!) for the iPhone4S is a good sign for the economy. It appears that 2012 will be better for business than 2011.
This blog wishes its readers a Merry Christmas!