Ho ho ho-hum: Holiday shopping off to a lame start in November


It looks like Cyber Monday wasn't all hype, but Black Friday wasn't strong enough to lift retailers into a successful November. The monthly retail figures are out, and of 30 major national retailers followed by Thomson Reuters (TRIN), only five beat their expected sales targets for the month. Most retailers reported strong online sales that only partly offset wholesale bargain hunting at stores.

"Shoppers continue to give signs that they are ready to loosen the grip on their spending plans, but at the same time remain very cautious and deal-focused in their spending," said Frank Badillo, senior economist at consulting firm Retail Forward, in a report.