August 17, 2012 |
A staffing stumble byApple Inc.'s new head of retail stores has led the company to issue a rare apology and backtrack on cutting workers' hours. The mea culpa came after widespread speculation arose that the technology stalwart, known for its sleek retail stores and eager employees, had laid off or severely cut the hours of some workers as part of a new store staffing plan put in place by John Browett, who became Apple's senior vice president of...
July 6, 2012 |
Consumers anxious about the economy kept their wallets in check, raising worries of a possible slowdown in spending during the crucialback-to-schoolshopping season that begins later this month. Major retailers posted a sales gain of just 0.1% in June, the worst monthly showing since August 2009. The sales numbers disappointed retail analysts, many of whom expected sales to rise about half a percent, according to Thomson Reuters' survey of 20 retail chains. Some analysts warned that the coming months could spell more bad news for retailers if a gyrating stock market and weak economic indicators continue to damp spending.
June 1, 2012 |
Shoppers cautiously hit the malls to refresh their wardrobes in May, but slower job gains and flagging consumer confidence is raising some concerns about whether a crimp in spending might be coming this summer. "Spending is up a little, and we know consumers are putting a little bit more on their credit cards," said Judith Russell, editor of the Robin Report, a retail industry publication. "The job market has stabilized, but unemployment is still in most cases too high," forcing shoppers to remain careful about unnecessary purchases.
May 27, 2012 |
CHICAGO — Maxine Lauer calls the group of consumers 15 to 34 "Generation Now" because they want what they want and they want it now. Trouble is, "now" isn't happening for them, especially for those in the middle of that range, their 20s, who might reasonably be expected to be thinking about buying their first homes. Generally, though, that's not something they're doing, because most of them just can't, said Lauer, whose Sphere Trending retail industry consulting firm in Waterford, Mich., has studied their attitudes in depth.
May 4, 2012 |
Shoppers appeared more cautious about spending in April as cold weather and fresh concerns about the economy curbed people's urge to shop, prompting worries about a possible slowdown in spending in the summer months. Weak April sales reported by major retailers and jitters about U.S. unemployment data helped push the stock market down Thursday, with the Dow Jones industrial average falling 61.98 points, or 0.47%, to 13,206.59. Retail analysts remained cautiously positive about the coming months, but warned that more bad news about the economy could further dampen consumer spending.
April 6, 2012 |
Shoppers hit the malls in March and provided a boost for the nation's retailers, a sign of a recovering consumer economy and job market — despite the pinch of rising gasoline prices. Major chain stores posted a healthy 4.3% sales increase in March compared with the same month a year earlier, beating analysts' expectations of a more modest 3.5% rise, according to Thomson Reuters' tally of 20 retailers. "We are seeing more consistent performance of U.S. jobs and more stabilization of wages," said Laura Gurski, global head of the retail practice at consulting firm A.T. Kearney.