Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Unemployment line grows

Photo

Check out more than half a million more people looking for work.USA-ECONOMY/
 
The layoffs have been all over the news, but when you see them all added together it shows just how bad this economy is.
 
The economy shed a worse-thank-expected 598,000 jobs in December. That’s the worse one-month drop since Richard Nixon was president
 
“The report is awful. it’s even worse than it looks, because people did not hire workers prior to Christmas, but they still did enormous layoffs after Christmas,” Cary Leahey, economist at Decision Economics.
 
Retailers shed 45,000 jobs in January and have cut 219,000 jobs since November as they went through the worst holiday shopping season in at least four decades.
 
And the hits just keep on coming. Macy’s  cut another 7,000 jobs on Monday.
 
Where’s that stimulus again?
 
Also in the basket:
 
Tim Hortons, Cold Stone to wed doughnuts and ice cream
 
Hermes, LVMH bring relief to luxury sector
 
Amazon New York event spurs talk of new Kindle model

(Photo: Reuters)

from MacroScope:

Crouching Buyer, Hidden Bargain

The terrible U.S. retail sales  racked up in December -- called a "horror show" by ING -- were all the more gruesome because of the sales on offer to customers in the run up to Christmas. Shops weren't exactly giving things away, but their generosity knew few bounds.

Consider the experience of one visitor to a heaving handbag department in a Maryland Macy's.
 
    Customer: "I would like to buy this handbag please. Oh dear, it appears to be the only one that is not on sale."
    Salesman: "So it is. Tell you what, sir, I'll give you 15 percent off anyway."

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