The Daily Valet. - 11/27/23, Monday

✔️ Spending Is Strong

The Daily Valet.
The Daily Valet.

Monday, November 27th Edition

Cory Ohlendorf

By Cory Ohlendorf, Valet. Editor

Are you still eating leftovers? Me too.

Today’s Big Story

Spending Is Strong

Black Friday brought in a record $9.8 billion from Online shoppers, and there's Still today's Cyber Monday Sales

Black Friday

The post-Thanksgiving shopping frenzy wraps up today. Cyber Monday—which will easily be the biggest online shopping day of this year—is the conclusion to the buying bacchanalia that kicks off with Black Friday, which gives way to Small Business Saturday and then continued on through yesterday, which was ... I don't know, Retail Hangover Sunday? And experts who were predicting this would be a big one, despite inflation and a tense geopolitical landscape, were absolutely right.While plenty still braved the crowds and cold to shop in person, most of us saved time (and money) by scanning the best deals and discount codes online. E-commerce spending on Black Friday popped 7.5% from last year, reaching a record $9.8 billion in the U.S., according to CNBC, a further indication that price-conscious consumers want to spend on the best deals and are hunting for those deals online. A Mastercard analysis of this year's Black Friday sales found that in-store sales rose just over 1% versus online sales, which grew by over 8% compared to last year.The spending spike reflects a consumer who is more willing to spend than in 2022, when gas and food prices were painfully high. Still, shoppers are price-sensitive, managing tighter budgets due to last year’s record inflation and interest rates. According to a new Adobe Analytics survey, $79 million of the sales came from consumers who opted for the 'Buy Now, Pay Later' flexible payment method to stretch their wallets, up 47% from 2022.Of course, anyone who's spent any time online knows that Black Friday starts earlier and earlier each year and major retailers have been running sales throughout November. But savvy shoppers know that both Black Friday and Cyber Monday remain two of the absolute biggest shopping days of the year for their ability to reliably trigger record-low prices on big-ticket items. That includes discounts that beat Amazon's massively-hyped fall Prime Day deals. The best-selling categories of Black Friday, the Adobe report found, were electronics like smartwatches and televisions, along with toys and gaming. You might be wondering (like I was), when did Cyber Monday become a legit shopping holiday? Way back in the age of MySpace and AIM—aka 2005—the National Retail Federation debuted the term after realizing that the Monday after Thanksgiving saw a flood of online sales. This was likely due to shoppers using their faster internet connections at work on Monday morning to snag deals, or at least that's what they credited it to. That, of course, and the fact that online retailers wanted some of that holiday shopping bread, too. Of course these days, the sales are spreading from corporate desktop computers to that phone in your hand. Younger consumers are looking for deals and holiday gifts on Instagram Shopping and TikTok Shop. According to Shopify, nearly 50% of Gen Z plan to purchase some gifts through social media. 


The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was seen by 28.5 million viewers on NBC, the largest ever recorded in its telecast history. Because we talked about it in this newsletter? Can't say for sure.

Hamas Releases More Hostages

A third group of captives released as a Longer Cease-Fire Appears Possible

A third group of hostages, including a 4-year-old American girl whose parents were killed in the Hamas raids on Israel on October 7, was freed on Sunday, raising the prospect that more captives could be set free and a fragile truce extended. Hamas said it wanted to extend the temporary cease-fire—in a statement posted to Telegram, the Islamist militant group said it was “seeking to extend the truce after the end of the four-day period” which started on Friday and is to end today.Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a video posted after the Hamas statement came out, said he was open to an extension of the cease-fire if Hamas freed 10 hostages per day. Previously, Israel has said it could extend the deal for up to 10 days. The latest exchange of captives comes on the same day that Netanyahu visited Israeli soldiers in Gaza, his first known trip to the Palestinian enclave in more than a decade.With the release of 4-year-old Abigail Edan, two women with U.S.-Israeli citizenship are still being held. President Biden on Sunday said he remains hopeful about the Americans who are still unaccounted for, but did not have a concrete update on their release. He said the administration is working with Qatar and the other negotiators to extend this pause to facilitate the freedom of additional hostages.


As the war rages on, Europe’s Jews worry about rising antisemitism throughout the continent.

At-Home STI Tests?

Some health advocates worry that regulation of over-the-counter kits could backfire 

The news seems promising ... The Food and Drug Administration's first-ever approval of an at-home test for chlamydia and gonorrhea could help drive earlier detection and treatment of these sexually transmitted infections amid a ballooning epidemic in the United States. The most recent report on sexual health from the CDC points to an STI epidemic with “no signs” of abating. Syphilis rates surged. Both gonorrhea and chlamydia are on the rise while men's condom use was down from 75% in 2011 to 42% in 2021.The CDC has called for increased access to sexual health services and prioritization of STI screening and treatment, an all-hands attempt to turn the surge. So over-the-counter self-testing at home could prove useful, right? But some sexual health advocates worry that regulation of the tests could backfire. A consortium of LGBTQ sexual health advocates has objected to a recent FDA policy proposal that, if enacted, would require the companies already offering at-home medical tests, including for STIs, obtain regulatory approval. A central worry is that the expense of meeting the FDA's demands could drive some companies out of the STI self-testing market and otherwise drive up the cost of the tests.Dr. Boghuma Titanji, an infectious disease specialist at Emory University, told NBC News that the inconvenience of having to go into a clinic was a major barrier to getting at-risk people tested for STIs. The new over-the-counter Simple 2 Test, from the home-testing company LetsGetChecked, is currently sold for $99. It's easily activated online, where the consumer fills out a health questionnaire before shipping in samples to a laboratory. If the results are positive, the company would then put the individual in contact with a physician.

The Race for Legal Sports Betting 

More and More states are considering legaL sports betting 

I spent Thanksgiving among some hardcore sports fans and it seemed there wasn't a moment (not one!) where the low rumble of an announcer's voice wasn't permeating the silence. And while some had bet on games recently, no one had any money riding on these games. But I'm sure plenty did. Since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a federal ban on sports betting in 2018, the majority of states have acted to legalize the activity. In 37 states, along with Washington, D.C., retail and online sports betting is now legal and in operation. And according to Legal Sports Report, more states are expected to revisit or introduce new legislation in 2024. Five states have no plans to legalize sports betting anytime soon (California, Alaska, Alabama, Utah and Idaho) and some (Washington and Montana) have legalized sports betting for retail spaces but not online.Of course, much of the betting happens online, right from your phone. Currently, more than $9.2 billion is projected to be bet this year and in a decade, that figure is expected to swell to a whopping $25 billion. Yahoo Finance says that the demand continues to increase thanks to the “expanding prevalence of connected devices and wider sports betting implementation and digital infrastructure.”


The thing you need to keep in mind about college football right now is that everything is about winning.

In Other News

Congressional break

Lawmakers are fleeing Congress at a record clip.

Have you heard about ...


The Long Read

After four decades of business and filing for bankruptcy in 2020, j.Crew is Primed for a renaissance.


Many assumed that the bankruptcy filing, in 2020, would spell the end of J. Crew. It turned out to be a Hail Mary ... the mood at HQ is pretty perky. Still, nobody’s quite using the word ‘comeback.’”

- By Maggie Bullock

Read It:



What We’re Buying

A wall clock

Newgate Box wall clock

Consider it a practical piece of art. Do you need a clock on your wall? Not really. But does it come in handy while also looking pretty sharp? Oh, definitely. Newgate's midcentury box clock ($149) has a vintage-inspired design that looks like something you'd have seen in an old office building and the details are just as considered. This one features a “silent sweep” movement—the hands move in a constant sweeping motion across the face, so you won't hear any distracting clunky ticks.

Want more?

The five stylish items you should be buying this week.

Morning Motto

Creation is your gift to the universe.

Nobody will stop you from creating. Do it tonight. Do it tomorrow. That is the way to make your should grow.


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