Wow, wow, wow. We saw widespread gains across categories last month. Looking at the ex-auto component, the (favorable) comparisons are reaching back all the way to March 2000, prior to the slowdown at the peak of the economic recovery.
Wow, wow, wow, ... We saw widespread gains across categories last month. Looking at the ex-auto component, the (favorable) comparisons are reaching back all the way to March 2000, prior to the slowdown at the peak of the economic recovery.
Yes, the numbers look good, but they should have looked better, ... Beneath the surface, it shows some strain.
The other thing is that as retailers move into a period of tougher comparisons in the second half of the year, it will be difficult for them to maintain the same pace of sales growth that they've enjoyed in the first half.
Overall consumption is outpacing income growth, and unless we see improvement in employment, that cannot be sustained.
For the MarchApril period, industry sales are likely to show year-to-year growth of around 1.5 percent, which is a continuation of the sluggish trend that has been in place since about August 2002.
Until July, income growth has outpaced the added dollars spent on gas. But gas prices have risen much faster in August. Income growth still has to outpace the increase in gas prices to at least offset the negative effective on consumers.
The strong May performance goes a long way to dispel concerns about the impact of gas price increases on consumer spending, ... I am surprised that the positive results were so widespread. It says 'Gee, the economic growth is clearly countering some of these other drags.'
It was a moderate sales performance good but not great. It really showed the resilience of consumers to spend on the holiday despite some strong head winds.
October's sales performance highlights that there is underlying demand across sectors, and it remains relatively steady as we head into the holiday season,
October's sales performance highlights that there is underlying demand across sectors, and it remains relatively steady as we head into the holiday season.
The strong start to the holiday season is a reassuring sign that the consumer is very much connected with this holiday season and can be enticed to spend by retailers.
There are loads of concerns out there, and as a result, the basic backdrop of this holiday season will be one that is much more uncertain.
While retailers are pleased with last week's performance, the holiday shopping season is far from over, since about 60 percent of gift-card redemptions occur between December 26 and the end of January.
Momentum toward the end of the month is a good sign heading into the holiday season.
The strength was largely driven by promotions and did not provide as strong of a start to the holiday season as some retailers would have liked.
With only 26 percent of households having completed their holiday shopping ... this holiday season will certainly come down to the wire.
Procrastinating consumers and a late Hanukkah (December 25) helped to lift the holiday season's performance.
There was lots and lots of discounting this holiday season. From the beginning of November onward, it was very promotional and remains a backdrop for the season.
As the 'traditional' holiday selling season got underway on Friday, consumers headed to those retailers who provided promotions and discounts.
The bottom line is, the holiday sales performance is likely to be the weakest on record.
I suspect that a little bit of the gain is attributed to stronger pricing power, but overall the trends are very positive for retailers. The message from these numbers is that momentum is on the retailers' side as we move into the holiday season.
We suspect the storm again hurt sales in the region. Even though this storm was a little more concentrated than last week's storm , it did cut into demand. It will be important to see if that demand is shifted to this week and to next weekend.
The risk to retailers is moderate right now because the gas price increases are hurting consumers more at the low-income spectrum. But these are also consumers who shop more frequently at discount stores like Wal-Mart.
It's a decent-to-moderate performance for the industry as a whole.