Doom sayer predictions for this year's Black Friday had Joe Consumer in-debt, over-spent and un-willing to pull out his wallet for the annual after Thanksgiving shopping work out. Preliminary numbers are proving our skeptic financial friends to be wrong. Depending on what you're reading, retail sales look to be down 1 percent from last year. The bigger picture is unfolding in the world of online consumerism, with initial reports showing a 28 percent increase in online buying over the same time period last year. Solid sales figures for the weekend after Thanksgiving have traditionally predicted strong holiday sales through the New Year, but much is yet to unfold, and retailers are pursuing agressive price cutting strategies to get our attention.