Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: August sales offer same old look

September 4, 2008

sell.jpgCheck out the same old sales story
Wal-Mart and other discounters: good. Saks and other high-priced retailers: bad.
The pattern seen over the past several months held again for August as cash-strapped consumers sought back-to-school bargains. 
Generally speaking, it’s bad form for little Johnny to show up for school naked and without notebooks and pens and pencils. So parents have to shop at least a little bit when school starts.
But as expected, they shopped where they could save money.
Back-to-school season can also set the trend for the key holiday shopping season. So the question becomes whether this will be a discount Christmas.
Employers are cutting back as much as they can, in order to be more profitable. That has led to a huge jump in productivity, but at the expense of jobs.
The August jobs report on Friday is expected to show that employers continued their job cutting in August.
Not a great sign for holiday cheer.
Also in the basket:
U.S. chicken industry still hurting – Sanderson farms
Polman a surprise pick to revive Unilever fortunes


The Jobs report was out and it was bad. Retail is in big trouble with Walmart looking like the only one with a real shot of making any money this year. In regards to jobs, it’s scary when none of the fed governers predicted unemployment to go so high. What else is in store I ask? In this review ( bs-and-housing-one-two-punch-start.html ) perhaps it is time to building up that emergency funds and find shelter in the economic storm coming.


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