Retail

2017 Outlook Held Back by Generation Gap

The consumer outlook in early 2017 continues to be held back by slipping confidence among Millennials—which is offsetting surging confidence to spend among Boomers. Further restraining the outlook in February was a slight slip in confidence among Gen X, which has…


Updated Holiday Results: Revised Down a Bit

Brick and mortar retail gains for the November-December holiday were about 2.4%–given topline sales gains that were revised down a bit to 3.9% and online gains that came in at an estimated 14.9%. The results were slightly higher than expected. The…


See-Saw Start to 2017 Retail Spending

Retail spending to start 2017 continues to see-saw between weak-to-modest growth. In January, sales improved slightly from a weak December, according to the latest government data. So far, the numbers do not suggest that a big jump in spending is in…


Initial Holiday Results: Stronger in Places

The 4% gain in holiday sales for November-December was stronger than expected and stronger than a year ago—by about half a percentage point on both counts. The better results occurred partly at brick and mortar stores—not just online. The in-store results,…


Drop in Millennials’ Confidence Persists Post-Election

Spending confidence among Millennials continued to slide in January in stark contrast to surging post-election confidence among Boomers. As a result, consumer spending in 2017 is likely to be still more uneven among consumable and discretionary categories than last year—even as…



Strong November Retail Sales Hidden in Latest Results

Retail spending slowed in November, according to the latest government data. Or did it really? While the seasonally adjusted sales data suggest moderating growth, the unadjusted data suggest a strong November at the expense of a weak October—that consumers held back…