Retailers, consumers and prices
Check Out Line: This week in retail wasn’t pretty
Check out a stream of extremely sobering news from – and for – retailers.
What did they all have in common? All reported profit drops and in the case of Macy’s and Charlotte Russe, quarterly losses.
Wal-Mart, the retailing behemoth, was able to post a nearly 10 percent rise in its quarterly earnings. But investors were somewhat taken aback when it provided a fourth-quarter earnings forecast that could possibly fall below Wall Street expectations, as it gets hit by a stronger U.S. dollar — which lowers the value of its international sales.
To cap it all off, government data showed on Friday that sales at U.S. retailers suffered a record decline in October. Sales slumped 2.8 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted $363.7 billion, the largest decline since the series began in 1992, the Commerce Department said. This compared with a revised 1.3 percent fall in September, previously reported as a 1.2 percent decrease.
It all comes just two weeks before retailers try to get consumers into their stores — and then actually spending money — during the Thanksgiving holiday shopping week. Get ready for a discount bonanza!
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