Our HeadLines e-news service provides HdL clients with the most up-to-date information on trends affecting the economy and is meant to provide you with insight and support in your budget preparation and economic planning. 

Holiday Sales Rose Stronger-Than Expected at 8.3%

Holiday retail sales rose 8.3% from 2019, according to data released by the National Retail Federation. “Faced with rising transmission of the virus, state restrictions on retailers and heightened political and economic uncertainty, consumers chose to spend on gifts that lifted the spirits of their families and friends and provided a sense of normalcy given the challenging year,” said Matthew Shay, President/CEO of the National Retail Federation, That’s more than the major retail trade group expected and more than double the average annual increase.  Read More


The Worst of the Coronavirus Pandemic May Be Over for Shopping Malls

Holiday traffic at malls was surprisingly not terrible, data tracking firm Placer.ai says in a new report analyzing foot traffic from more than two dozen malls across the country. The findings are not as bleak as many had feared. Mall visits were within 30% of 2019's pace in October, the smallest decline since February but the resurgence of COVID-19 cases caused visitor counts to reverse in November, declining 42.2% year over year. December saw a holiday bounce back with foot traffic down 32.4% from 2019's levels. Placer.ai’s team thinks that 2021 could be a big year for malls, as customers are itching to get out and shop. Read More


Nine Retail Trends to Watch in 2021

Headed into 2021, retailers have survived the immediate triage period, but the pandemic is still very much present and will continue to shape the year ahead. Indeed, the ability of the crisis to cause more problems, or abate them, depending on how the world recovers will perhaps have the largest effect on the industry this year. The pandemic is a thread weaving through almost every trend the industry faces in 2021, in some cases speeding up inevitable changes many years in the making and in others sparking unexpected developments. Click HERE to see the trends to watch for in 2021.  


What Six Charts Say About the Pandemic's Impact on Retail

While it's technically a new year, retailers face many of the same challenges they tackled in the previous one. The pandemic, though missing the element of surprise it had in 2020, is still a critical factor. Trends accelerated by the pandemic will continue to pose problems for retailers as they look to catch up.  Click HERE for a recap of some of the biggest impacts the pandemic had on retail.


Office Depot Turns Down Staples' $2.1B Acquisition Offer

Office Depot recently turned down Sycamore-owned Staples' $2.1 billion acquisition offer from last week, but Office Depot Chair Joseph Vassalluzzo did outline ways the two might combine retail operations. In a letter to private equity firm Sycamore Partners' Managing Director Stefan Kaluzny, a member of the board at Staples' parent company, Vassalluzzo said the Office Depot board had "unanimously concluded that there is a more compelling path forward," including "combining our retail and consumer-facing ecommerce operations with Staples under the right set of circumstances and on mutually acceptable terms."  Read More


Target's Same Store Sales Up 17% Over the Holidays

Target said comparable sales rose 17.2% in November and December, as customers bought matching pajamas and gingerbread house kits to celebrate a cozy holiday at home during the pandemic. While online sales remained robust, shoppers also visited Target’s stores and spent more money per purchase than they did last holiday season. Combined transactions in Target stores and on its website rose 4.3% and average tickets grew by 12.3% year over year, the company said. Read More


HdL Retail Analytics - Sales Tax:  What Just Happened and What To Expect

2020 was full of challenges across California and local governments are once again facing financial distress. Click HERE to read this recent article written by HdL Principal Ken Nordhoff explaining sales tax behavioral shifts, the irony of AB147 and what may lie ahead. 

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