Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tuesday News & Notes

The Dept. of Commerce reported this morning that overall December retail sales came in better than expected, up a seasonally adjusted 0.5% following a 0.4% gain in the prior month. Overall, sales were up 5.2% for the full year after a 7.9% rise in 2011.

However, if we look at total unadjusted holiday season (Nov-Dec) spending (excluding autos, gas stations and restaurants), we see that results come in a bit light compared to analyst estimates, increasing only 2.7% vs projections of a 4-4.5% increase.

Not surprisingly, non-store retailers (which include online and catalog chains) were by far the best performers - comScore reported that total online spending for the 2-month period increased 14% to $42.3 billion.

There's no doubt uncertainty surrounding the fiscal cliff hit consumer confidence in the latter half of December, and with tax hikes beginning to crimp' paychecks early this year, shoppers will continue to be cautious with their spending as we head into the spring selling season.

Tuesday Retail & Consumer Reads:

  • Wearable tech will become a $6 billion global market by 2016 (FT)
  • Wal-Mart pledges to hire veterans, increase sourcing from US suppliers over next decade (WaPost)
  • Pinning Down The Value Of Pinterest For Retail (MediaPost)
  • The Dawn of Mobile Influence: Discovering the value of mobile in retail (Deloitte)
  • The consumer technology trends that will matter most in 2013 (VentureBeat)
  • The Big Squeeze: How to Counter E-Commerce’s Pinch on Small Retail Shops (CoStar Group)
  • Is Target's Price Matching Policy a Mistake? (HBR)
  • The Biggest Winners in Retail? Consumers, Hands Down (HuffPost)
  • New Platform Wants To Turn The Order Confirmation Page Into A Social Commerce Opportunity (TechCrunch)
  • Top 15 Trends in Customer Service for 2013 (Forrester)
  • Can doing good be good for retailers’ bottom line? (MarketWatch)

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