Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Frugal fatigue?


bootsplaid1Check out what women buy when they get tired of being a frugalista: boots, plaid and outerwear. 

Those were some of the products that helped October U.S. retail sales improve from a year ago, when the unfolding financial meltdown had shoppers fearing a second Great Depression.

“Frugal fatigue is setting in,” said NPD Group analyst Marshal Cohen. After a year of scrimping, he added, the numbers suggest that some women are going in for a little retail fix.

“Women (not only moms) are shopping their closets, discovering new and fresh looks and filling in with some key updates,” he said.

Check Out Line: Warnaco CEO sees Olympic gold for Speedo


phelps.jpgCheck out Warnaco Inc’s Olympic dreams.

Clothing company Warnaco got to boast about the strength of its Calvin Klein jeans and underwear business last week when it reported much better-than-expected earnings and raised its full-year outlook.

Now the company, whose stock rose 6 percent yesterday to a new 52-week high, says it is feeling “the Phelps factor” as U.S. Olympian swimmer Michael Phelps racks up the gold medals in Beijing, at times while wearing the company’s new Speedo LZR suit.