Posts filed under “Retail”

Holiday Shopping: Here Comes the Silly Season!

Forget August. The real silly season is upon us.

As evidence I present the forecast of a 13 percent increase in holiday sales made by Forrester Research, as cited in the New York Times this morning. Color me skeptical.

As we noted about this time last year, these sales projections are as much of an annual holiday ritual as Thanksgiving and overeating. Every year, numerous trade groups, research firms and other assorted media shills release their holiday sales forecasts. The data set of failures is so large that even if anyone gets it right, it should be chalked to random chance. That is what happens when you are so wrong for so long and don’t bother to think about why you are wrong.

I am glad that Forrester has the ability to forecast a 13 percent jump in this year’s holiday shopping. To reach that conclusion, it only needed to figure out:

• How much income people will earn between now and the holidays, minus their actual expenses, plus their availability of credit.

• The psychology of how much Americans will actually be spending money on gifts.

• The weather.

• Any other random events — ISIS, Ebola, Taylor Swift — that may interfere with holiday cheer.

• Knowing how much savings Americans have accumulated during the year.

I am only kidding about that last one, because these are Americans we are talking about, and their savings rate could substitute as a slide at a water park.

Continues here


Category: Really, really bad calls, Retail

Amazon ‘Targeting’ Hachette Writers

Roxana Robinson, president of the Authors Guild, and Bloomberg Contributing Editor Paul Kedrosky, talk about the dispute between Hachette Book Group and Amazon Inc. over e-book pricing and distribution.

Source: Bloomberg, Sept. 16 2014

Category: Retail, Video, Web/Tech

Explaining How Alibaba Works With 280 Pairs of Pants

Alibaba’s IPO could be the biggest in history. Bloomberg’s Sam Grobart explains how Alibaba works through the experience of ordering 280 pairs of pants manufactured overseas.

Source: Bloomberg, Sept. 15 2014

Video by: Dan Przygoda, David Yim

Category: Retail, Video, Web/Tech

Housing, retail, risk: The week ahead

Source: Yahoo Finance

Category: Consumer Spending, Economy, Retail, Video

13 Years of Apple Stores in 60 Seconds

Click for an animated graphic. Source: Retale   Click on the map to see an animation of Apple Inc. store openings and product releases over the last 13 years. We’ll wait for you. OK, that was pretty cool, right?  Continues here

Category: Consumer Spending, Digital Media, Retail, Technology

Restaurant Industry Pay: Taxpayer’s Double Burden

Category: Retail, Taxes and Policy, Think Tank, Wages & Income

Discounts, Luxury Sales, and the Consumer (JCP, BBY et. al.)

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…Read More

Category: Consumer Spending, Data Analysis, Retail

The Rise and Fall of Circuit City

Category: Economy, Retail, Think Tank

Complain Like a Pro

Uh-oh — some of the gifts did not work out okay? No worries, here’s a quick guide to getting a fair shake:   Source: WSJ

Category: Retail

Always Low Wages? Wal-Mart’s Other Choices

Yesterday, we looked at the benefit to McDonald’s of having its workers subsidized by state and federal aid. Today, its Wal-Mart’s turn. Recall our discussion last month on the related subject of “How McDonald’s and Wal-Mart Became Welfare Queens.” We learned that employees of these two companies are often the largest recipients of aid in…Read More

Category: Earnings, Retail, Wages & Income