Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: The extreme weather in July


Check out the chilly, wet weather continuing into July.

umbrella1Last month, retailers weathered the second-coolest June in 10 years, with record rainfall in cities like New York, Boston and Chicago, according to weather research firm Planalytics.

That put a lid on shopper demand for short shorts and tank tops, hurting June sales results.

July didn’t necessarily bring enough heat to make up for the June wash out.

According to Planalytics, unusually cool temperatures were pervasive across the northern Plains, Midwest, and interior Northeast in July with many locations having monthly readings that made it the coolest ever for July.

Check Out Line: Bad jobs data follows bad sales data


Check out more bad news for retailers headed into the holiday season.

On Friday, fresh data showed the U.S. economy shed 240,000 jobs in October, worse than the 200,000 decline that was forecast. The Labor Department said the national unemployment rate shot up to 6.5 percent from 6.1 percent in September — the highest since March 1994.

That disappointing report came a day after U.S. retail chains reported their worst October sales results in 35 years.

Check Out Line: October sales — worst since 2000?


Check out the October monthly sales results due this week.

Think of an adjective for “bad” and that pretty much describes Wall Street analysts’ current view for how the month shaped up. 

Retail chains, like Wal-Mart, Costco and J.C. Penney, will release October results on Wednesday and Thursday, and Thomson Reuters is forecasting a decline of 0.1 percent.