HdL HeadLines calls out retail trends affecting the economy and HdL news to provide you with insight and support in your budget preparation and economic planning.


Amazon to Open First Physical Clothing Store

Amazon announced the launch of its first physical clothing store, dubbed Amazon Style. The store will open later in the year at The Americana at Brand in Los Angeles and will feature women's and men's apparel, shoes and accessories. Customers can use the Amazon Shopping app to scan a product's QR code to access information including sizes, colors and ratings. Items can then be sent to a fitting room or directly to the pickup counter.


Retail Sales Dropped 1.9% in December

Retail sales fell much more than expected in December as surging prices took a big bite out of spending, the Commerce Department reported. The advance monthly sales report to close out the year showed a decline of 1.9%, considerably worse than the Dow Jones estimate for just a 0.1% drop. Excluding autos, sales fell 2.3%, a number that also fell well short of expectations for a 0.3% rise. Considering that the sales numbers are not adjusted for inflation, the data point to a slow ending to what had otherwise been a strong 2021 in which sales rose 16.9% from the pandemic-scarred 2020.


Adobe: Holiday E-Commerce Topped $204B in the U.S.

From Nov. 1 to Dec. 31, U.S. consumers spent $204.5 billion online, up 8.6% compared to last year. But red-letter deals took a back seat this year, as consumers started early and spread out their spending, according to numbers from Adobe Analytics. Online spending rose 19.2% year over year during the weeks before Thanksgiving, but fell 1.4% during Cyber Week (the five days between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday). Online spending picked up again between Nov. 30 to Dec. 31, growing 5.6%, Adobe found.


Here's Why Grocery Stores are Struggling to Stock Their Empty Shelves

Grocery store shelves across America are wiped clean, and they're staying empty as stores struggle to quickly restock everyday necessities such as milk, bread, meat, canned soups and cleaning products. Disgruntled shoppers have unleashed their frustration on social media over the last several days, posting photos on Twitter of bare shelves. After contending with two years of a pandemic and supply chain-related problems, grocery stores still aren't getting the break they had hoped for. Rather, they are now confronting a host of other setbacks.


Omicron 'Unlikely to Derail' Economic Growth: Moody's

Disruption from the rapid surge of the omicron COVID-19 variant is likely to be temporary and is "unlikely to derail" the economy's "solid expansionary path," Moody's analysts said in a recent report. "Strong December retail sales and an improvement in consumer confidence confirm our view that the consumer response to each successive virus wave is becoming more muted," the analysts said. Inflation, on the other hand, is likely to stick around for a while yet, but will moderate, according to Moody's. 


New and Used Car Prices Keep Climbing.  Don't Expect Relief Anytime Soon.

When it comes to car shopping these days, sticker price may mean sticker shock. New and used car prices continue to spurt higher amid strong demand and tight inventory. While a manufacturing slowdown has improved slightly, there won’t be a return to normal anytime soon for car buyers.


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