Tag: retail sales

Retail Sales As Expected – Holiday A Hoot Anyway


The holiday retail-sales decline was much worse than the already-dire picture painted by industry forecasts, which had predicted sales ranging from a 1% drop to a more optimistic increase of 2.2%.

Luxury goods, once considered immune from economic turmoil, were hardest hit, with sales falling 21.2%, compared with a jump of 7.5% a year ago, when the economy had just begun to sputter. Including jewelry sales, the luxury sector plunged by a whopping 34.5%.

Online also felt the pinch, although not nearly as bad as the rest. Nevertheless, nobody bought the Black Friday optimism.

I did a poll of my own too – three families, all with children from five years to ten. All parents said they significantly reduced their spending this year – they bought little if anything for each other, and much less for the children too. But, they expressed the feeling that the kids were very happy regardless, and the one sample group I personally observed confirmed it – the kids were bouncing off the walls. The families also noted that ‘less’ felt good – a simpler holiday without all the pressures left everyone at ease, and content.

And why not? Heck, ‘less is more’ even works in fishing!

U.S. Retail Sales Drop in October by Most on Record

Because Bloomberg said so.

Yep – those stimulus checks are now officially gone.

CORRECTION: All is not lost.  Gun sales are way up, and home brewing kits are probably right behind them.

News I missed while I was intermittently visiting hell

Hell = golf course

    From betting on the game when the other team doesn’t show…

  • Bridgewater Associates say financial losses from the credit meltdown will hit $1.6 trillion. That means we’re just a few pitches into the second inning in this mess. (h/t Paul Kedrosky)
  • In 2008, autumn seems to be coming early (and looking a lot like 1987). I’ve mentioned this already.
  • Retailers won’t be able to hide rising prices in the revenue line forever – consumer spending is invariably linked to the housing market. (h/t Calculated Risk)
  • From pointing fingers is old hat, and old hats fit nicer than new ones…

  • European politicians are conflicted over how to deal with bloggers. Might I suggest they send a patsy to quiet them down?
  • Some social networks are having trouble monetizing their traffic. Forget the problem of short attention spans amongst teenagers – blame Google.
  • Global warming hysteria has a new friend, the plasma TVs everyone bought with their second mortgage loan.
  • And from technology is my oyster, now give it a sniff before you eat it…

  • How does a thriving technology company morph itself into General Motors? Become extremely bureaucratic about minutia. ADDED: Make sure that minutia is completely irrelevant too.
  • Voicemail is dead. I agree, not because of fabulous web services, but something much simpler – caller id and internal phone contact lists.
  • Email is in trouble too? I’ll agree with that as well, but not because of the newfangled services that exist today. Too few people are ever going to want their communication publicized, and too many are shifting platforms for Outlook to be a long term handicap. Someone is going to rise to the occasion for the mainstream user.

In 2065, the Commerce Dept. will begin reporting “unit sales”

Unluckily, many of us will be dead

The report says retail sales skyrocketed. No surprise – fingers are pointing at rebate checks…

Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics, said one possible explanation was that consumers have suddenly returned to their carefree spending ways despite weak consumer confidence readings and the credit crunch.

But he said a more likely reason was that rebate checks were giving a temporary boost to spending that would not last, resulting in weaker economic performance in coming months.

Be reminded that gasoline alone accounted for 20% of the jump, and energy costs are built into almost everything everyone buys. Don’t forget the dollar either – it still hasn’t recovered from it’s early 2008 cliff dive…


Compliments of Barchart

Absolutely no chance that domestic prices are simply blowing out?

UPDATE: Rebates, rebates, rebates. This smells funny.

UPDATE 2: Nope – no chance prices are rising

Consumer inflation pushed higher in May as gasoline prices rose at the fastest pace in half a year, the Labor Department said on Friday.

Retail inflation portends burgeoning consumer credit

April retail sales rise:

Soaring fuel bills and a deteriorating job market haven’t stopped consumers from spending. Retail sales excluding cars rose 0.5 percent in April, more than twice what economists had forecast, a Commerce Department report showed in Washington today.

Retail sales weren’t too shabby in March either. Nor was the expansion of consumer credit that month – more than double expectation. Meanwhile, in inflation adjusted terms sales are sucking wind.

Has plastic use doubled down again?

UPDATE: Take out non-discretionaries and it’s really quite ugly.

U.S. Online Sales Growth Slows Amid Holiday Slump

Internet holiday shopping slows. It seems Nielsen not only reported goofy stats a few weeks back, but jumped the gun as well.

UPDATE: According to ComScore, sales grew at the slowest pace ever this holiday season.

Nielsen’s mixed Black Friday stats

Nielsen has posted some mixed statistics regarding Black Friday’s online shopping results. It’s mixed because while traffic growth was roughly 10% year-over-year for the same day, it was 12% the previous year. Adam Ostrow also noted growth of 27% back in 2004 – he deferred to maturation of the internet.

I don’t think the results were impressive enough, and since Nielsen chose to stuff this report under “PR” they had to do a little song and dance. The show tune was the week-on-week results they presented. Comparing online sales on the Friday prior to Thanksgiving to the Friday after Thanksgiving is about as useless as it gets.

It’s the Food Inflation, Stupid

Barry Ritholtz says that if there were any gains this quarter in the retail sector, it was almost entirely a result of food inflation.

With the exception of a few ultra-high-end outlets, his analysis seems spot on.