“Don’t bother coming to the US this week,” we told a colleague in Britain. “Hanukkah begins on Tuesday. Thanksgiving is on Thursday. Then everyone goes shopping. The week will be a total loss from a business standpoint.” But this is a big week for retail. It’s the start of the holiday season. Americans will “shop until they drop.” Or until they run out of money. Whichever comes first. How is the season shaping up so far?