December 12, 2013 |
With holiday spending on clothes and toys off to a chilly start, worried retailers are plying shoppers with an early gift: Black Friday-style bargains extended into the first weeks of December. Merchants get nervous each year during the dreaded early-December shopping lull, when consumers rest their wallets before swarming back into malls at the last minute - if they return at all. But this time, shoppers are splurge-shy, there's a dearth of hot new fashion trends and the key Thanksgiving weekend failed to deliver hoped-for sales.
December 10, 2013 |
SACRAMENTO -- California's tax revenue came in about 6% below forecasts in November, but state Controller John Chiang dismissed the drop as a fluke of the calendar. Last month's total of $6 billion was $375.6 million under estimates, Chiang said. But, revenue for the first five months of the fiscal year was $31.4 billion, ahead of budget predictions by $228.1 million. QUIZ: How much do you know about California's economy? Meanwhile, state spending since the July 1 start of the fiscal year was down $126.3 million from budget assumptions.
December 5, 2013 |
Retailers pulled no punches in November, slashing prices, opening during the Thanksgiving holiday, blitzing online shoppers with deals well before Black Friday and offering perks such as price-matching and free shipping. But all their efforts couldn't keep same-store sales for the month from missing expectations for a 3% year-over-year increase. Instead, the industry posted an anemic 1.9% increase, data firm Retail Metrics reported, calling the disappointing figures “early lumps of coal in retailers' stockings.” The numbers exclude the Gap and Zumiez chains, which are reporting their November after the stock market closes.
November 20, 2013 |
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.
November 1, 2013 |
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.
October 29, 2013 |
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.
October 16, 2013 |
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.
October 11, 2013 |
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%.
September 23, 2013 |
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.