It will be a cold, icy Black Friday.
Someone is watching you shop. That "someone" is a network of satellites operated by Remote Sensing Metrics and used to feed data to Thompson Reuters. They've been spying down on you from up above in order to gauge mall traffic patterns ahead of Black Friday 2010. Creepy? Yes, but you really can't expect that much privacy out-of-doors in the age of satellites and flying cameras.
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The short Black Friday window is one of those crucial periods the American economy turns on. Slow sales could be the difference between life and death for some ailing retailers. Thankfully, the news from the stars is positive. November mall traffic, "especially during the Saturday ahead of Black Saturday," was up a total of 12% over 2009.
Last month, IBM predicted a a 4% year-over-year increase from November to December. That paints a pretty rosy picture, but it's worth noting that snow, rain and ice are going to blanket the East and Northwest on Thursday night.
Crappy weather is one of the few things that can really stall a good Black Friday in the offing. If we see shoppers kept at home by bad weather, expect to see online Black Friday deals from retailers like Wirefly and Amazon.com barraged by unreasonable traffic.
If you haven't already, be sure to check out my five helpful tips for Black Friday 2010. Then check your local weather patterns. Ice and snow may put your life at risk, but they ALSO mean shorter lines and better odds on doorbuster deals.
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It's your choice: Black Ice and cheap HDTVs or hot cocoa and slow Internet.