Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Frugality — Part Two?

August 5, 2010

shopCheck out the apparent return of the frugalista.

Worries about stubbornly high U.S. unemployment and a tempermental economic recovery has shoppers reeling in spending on all but the essentials.

The 28 retailers tracked by Thomson Reuters reported an overall 2.9 percent rise in July sales at stores open at least one year, missing Wall Street forecasts of 3.1 percent. Seventeen of those retailers reported lower-than-expected sales, while nine — including Macy’s and Kohl’s — beat estimates.

“We are now in an environment where the dollars in consumers’ pockets are fewer, so the competition for those dollars has increased,” said Lawrence Creatura, portfolio manager at Federated Clover Investment Advisors.

U.S. consumer sentiment hit its lowest level in nine months in July on bleak prospects for jobs and income, according to Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan’s Surveys of Consumers.  On Thursday, the government reported that new U.S. claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose in the latest week.

Also in the basket:

Barnes & Noble draws interest, but a tough sell

Surprise rise in jobless claims casts pall on economy

Barneys said near naming Mark Lee CEO-WWD  (Subscription required)

(Reuters photo)

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