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Retail Sales

BUSINESS
November 20, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu
The Black Friday shopping rush may be slightly less of a nail-biter for retailers after government data showed better-than-expected sales in October. Retail sales jumped 0.4% last month, the U.S. Census Bureau said Wednesday, handily exceeding the 0.1% month-over-month increase anticipated by economists surveyed by Bloomberg. And the September performance, which caused deep concern when initially reported as a 0.1% decline, was revised up to reflect no change. In total, October sales reached $428.1 billion, a 3.9% boost from October 2012.
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BUSINESS
November 1, 2013 | Tiffany Hsu
Count on coal this Christmas. That's what researchers at Morgan Stanley are saying in the first major forecast of a decidedly dour holiday season. Retailers hoping for a respite from a year of so-so shopping can instead expect the worst Thanksgiving-to-Christmas sales since 2008, the financial services firm said Thursday. Five years ago, the industry was free-falling into recession. This year, a new collection of worrisome economic conditions looms as stores gear up for a period that can sometimes account for 40% of annual revenue.
BUSINESS
October 29, 2013 | By Walter Hamilton and Tiffany Hsu
It didn't matter that consumer confidence slumped or that retail sales were weak. The stock market barreled to new highs anyway. The nation's two closely watched stock barometers - the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor's 500 index - hit new all-time highs Tuesday. Investors shrugged off disappointing economic data ahead of the holiday shopping season. The Dow jumped 111.42 points, or 0.7%, to 15,680.35. The S&P 500 climbed 9.84 points, or 0.6%, to 1,771.95.
BUSINESS
October 16, 2013 | Chris O'Brien and Tiffany Hsu
Apple Inc. has hired Burberry Chief Executive Angela Ahrendts to run its retail division, hoping her background melding technology, fashion and commerce will be the right mix to navigate the future of the stores that have been a cornerstone of its success. Although not a household name in the U.S., Ahrendts is a superstar in Britain because she led a turnaround of the revered but aging retail chain. The Midwestern native was the highest-paid CEO in Britain, where her leadership and tech savvy combined with her status as a rare female running a public company have drawn comparisons to Facebook Inc. Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and Yahoo Inc. CEO Marissa Mayer.
BUSINESS
October 11, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu
Retail sales during the prime back-to-school shopping month of September grew but were still muffled by heavy head winds that could affect holiday spending. The gauge of same-store sales, which calculates sales at stores open for more than a year, rose "a modest" 4% compared with September 2012, according to Retail Metrics Inc. But Ken Perkins, president of the research firm, had projected a 4.1% upswing. Without the strong performance of drugstores - Walgreens' sales soared 7.4% last month - the retail sales measure increased 2.8%.
BUSINESS
September 23, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu
Retailers this season won't hire more holiday workers than they did last year, when the number of temporary workers brought onboard reached a 12-year high, according to a new forecast. Instead, the Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. consultancy said stores and distribution centers will probably add roughly 665,800 workers to their headcounts, with the bulk of hires being made in October. At best, companies can hope to match their hiring levels from 2012, when 751,800 workers joined their ranks between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, the consultancy said.
BUSINESS
September 21, 2013 | By Chris O'Brien
During the iPhone announcement event at Apple's headquarters last week, chief executive Tim Cook took a few minutes to plug a project that hadn't gotten as much attention as the company's new gadgets or iOS 7. On the screen behind him on the stage, Cook flashed a picture of the company's new store at the Stanford Shopping Center. "This month, our attention turns home," Cook said. Photos: Top 11 hidden, cool features in Apple's iOS 7   The company had previously had a small, 1,100-square-foot store at the Stanford mall.  "Despite the size of it, our teams have served 5 million customers there, in just nine years," Cook said.
BUSINESS
August 13, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu
Retail sales rose a smidgen in July, growing 0.2% amid back-to-school shopping even as auto dealers and home goods merchants lagged. The slight month-to-month uptick represents the fourth straight gain, according to the Commerce Department. Wall Street had expected a 0.3% increase. Sales had advanced 0.6% in June, an upward revision. Compared with July 2012, the gauge last month is up 5.4%, according to the government. But the National Retail Federation called the report a “mixed bag for retailers,” saying that the economy appears to be stuck in a rut. “Fiscal and monetary policy uncertainties combined with stagnant economic and employment conditions continue to breed a volatile market with extreme swings in consumer spending,” Matthew Shay, the trade group's chief executive, said in a statement.
BUSINESS
July 15, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu
Retail sales were mixed in June, buoyed by strong auto and furniture sales but tamped down by high unemployment and taxes, analysts said. The overall gauge of sales rose 0.4% from May following a revised 0.5% increase the previous month, according to the Commerce Department. The measure increased 5.7% compared with June 2012. But Wall Street had expected a 0.8% boost, according to Credit Suisse. And a calculation of so-called core sales, which strip out the effects of auto and gas purchases, slipped 0.1% in its first decline in a year.
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