Posts filed under “Consumer Spending”
It has been a confusing few weeks for followers of the retail sector. A mix of disappointing earnings (See Best Buy, J.C. Penny’s and Sears) along with pockets of luxury strength plus strongly trending auto sales has created a jumble. Let’s see if we can make some sense of the entire mess.
Let’s start with the tales of the American consumer’s demise. The early read from the National Retail Federation (You remember them) was for retail sales to drop 2.7% on Black Friday, and for gloomy holiday sales. Well, they reported this week that holiday sales rose 4.6% year-over-year (with the caveat I have no clue what their methodology actually is). A nearly 5% increase is not exactly a gloomy sales season. This is consistent with Morgan Housel’s claim that everything is doing much better than a few years ago and no one is happy about.
It’s that the time of the year when you probably want to pick up a bauble or two for your favorite trader, fund manager or analyst. Sure, I may make fun of Shopmas and our mad consumerist society, but every now and again, I like to remind those folks who have been nice that their…Read More
Retail theater: Beware of bad Shopmas data! Barry Ritholtz Washington Post November 29 2013 This weekend kicks off the official start of the seasonal gift-buying frenzy I call Shopmas! When it comes to retail, ’tis the season of artifice and deception. The retailers offer fake discounts via phony markdowns — no one pays…Read More
I am working on my list of holiday shopping ideas for Traders, and came across this auction: Lot 379: Harrison Ford “Han Solo” DL-44 Blaster from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back & Return of the Jedi. Starting bid is $200,000, but there are no takers (yet) . . . I would that that was…Read More
One would hope that after a decade of people lamenting the poor reporting of Thanksgiving weekend retail data, the news media might learn to do better. Yet we see few if any signs that reporters understand the misleading press releases put out by the retail industry and its flacks. The innumeracy of the media has…Read More
I am writing up my BBRG coverage of the innumerate business reporting of Black Friday and the holiday shopping weekend. The press as per usual got it wrong again this year. Here is the press release from the NRF, pushing their usual survey silliness as if it were actual retail sales data: “More than 141…Read More