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But this was nothing to do with bargains, and otherwise there were few queues at the shops despite the earnest efforts of retailers to pump things up. There is one simple point and let’s get it out of the way.
It would be pretty odd if the combination of the gloom heaped on the British consumer by commentators on Brexit and the squeeze on real incomes from inflation at 3 per cent had not dampened down animal spirits a bit.
In the US, by contrast, the long boom continues, interest rates will climb only slowly and real incomes are at last rising – so consumer confidence remains high. In continental Europe, by contrast, there has been a pretty muted response. ) But Amazon workers picketed several depots on the grounds that its work practices endangered the health of employees.In most of Europe the gift-giving has been associated with Christmas, with the post-Christmas sales held to clear out the stuff that had not been sold.In the US Thanksgiving takes the place of Christmas, and it looks a bit as though Singles Day in China is doing the same.People like buying things, something that communism never quite took on board.But I suspect that the gradual shift from people buying objects to buying services will change the nature of these festivals. But the emphasis will be more on buying experiences, less on buying stuff.