This months retail headlines cover record-breaking holiday sales, the resilience of home improvement and luxury retailers, and auto sales and inventory.
- Amazon Touts Record Sales Over Holiday Shopping Weekend
- U.S. Thanksgiving Weekend Sees Record 197 Million Shoppers
- Holiday Shopping Sets Records on Paper, but Inflation Takes Its Toll
- Here's Why Home Depot and Lowe's are Booming in a Housing Market Bust
- Luxury Retailers Power Through Despite Strong Dollar, Shaky Economy
- Walmart and Target’s Quarterly Results Bare the Retailers Stark Differences
- U.S. Retail Sales rose 1/3% in October, A Sign of Resilience
- October Auto Sales Rise With More Inventory, But Cupboard Is Still Pretty Bare
- HdL Insights
Amazon reported it rang up record-breaking sales in the five-day period beginning Thanksgiving Day and ending on Cyber Monday, adding to what has been a strong showing for many retailers so far this holiday shopping season. The company said the holiday shopping weekend was its “biggest ever,” with consumers snapping up hundreds of millions of products during the period.
Deep discounts on everything from fashion to electronics during the Thanksgiving weekend encouraged more Americans to open their wallets even as inflation weighed on their shopping budgets, data from the National Retail Federation showed. A record 196.7 million shoppers made purchases in stores and online during the five-day holiday period from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, shattering the trade group's expectations of 166.3 million and up more than 9% from last year.
Shoppers spent big over a record-breaking five-day holiday shopping weekend, shelling out more than ever on the year’s premier online shopping day. Consumers spent $35.4 billion online over the five-day period, according to data from Adobe Analytics. On Cyber Monday, sales hit a record $11.3 billion, a 5.3 percent jump from last year, while online Black Friday sales ticked up 2.3 percent to $9.12 billion. U.S. shoppers also spent on Thanksgiving and the weekend, with sales hitting $5.3 billion on Thursday and a combined $9.6 billion on Saturday and Sunday.
Retailers and brands catering to wealthy customers aren’t entirely immune to the current macroeconomic challenges, which could get even tougher next year if recessionary fears are realized. Still, upper-income households are fairly well insulated from inflation and other financial difficulties, and that’s showing up in the sales figures at higher-end stores. This year so far, 95% of luxury brands in the U.S. and Europe generated positive growth, according to recent research from Bain & Co. Globally, the luxury market could grow 21% this year.
As the U.S. housing market falls hard from its pandemic-driven highs, home improvement retailers like Home Depot and Lowes don’t seem to be feeling the same pain. While homebuilding and home remodeling are integrally connected, the market forces behind each can be different, and that’s what’s happening now. Home Depot and Lowe’s reported strong quarterly earnings. This comes as home sales, prices and construction are all weakening significantly due to a massive jump in mortgage rates.
The rival big-box players are both known for selling an array of products including food, clothing, home goods and kitchen appliances. But the retailers issued starkly divergent outlooks recently that underscored their differences, most notably in how much each relies on grocery sales. Walmart raised its financial outlook for the year after U.S. same-store sales in the third quarter rose 8.2% from a year ago when excluding fuel. Target slashed its forecast for the holiday quarter after comparable sales rose just 2.7%.
Americans stepped up their spending at retailers, restaurants, and auto dealers in October, a sign of consumer resilience as the holiday shopping season begins amid painfully high inflation and rising interest rates. The government said that retail sales rose 1.3% in October from September, up from a flat reading in September from August. The increase was led by car sales and higher gas prices. Still, excluding autos and gas, retail spending rose a solid 0.9% last month.
With slightly better availability of new cars and trucks — compared with super-low availability a year ago — U.S. auto sales in October are expected to increase in double digits percentage-wise, vs. October 2021, forecasters said. TrueCar Inc. predicts October sales of about 1.2 million cars and trucks combined, an increase of about 15% vs. a year ago.
Read our latest articles:
We'll be at the following upcoming events:
- CSMFO Orange County Chapter Meeting - December 1, Tustin
Be sure to say hello to Bobby Young, Director of Client Services, and Connor Duckworth, Client Advisor, at CSMFO’s monthly membership meeting.
- Cal Cities Municipal Finance Institute - December 7 - 8, Monterey
Mark your calendars! HdL Principals Bobby Young and Susie Woodstock will be presenting “Vital Information When Considering a Transaction and Use Tax“ on December 7th and Tracy Vesely will be presenting “California State and Local Economic Update” on December 8th.
- HdL Webinar: California Consensus Forecast with Q3 2022 Data - January 4, Virtual
What better way to ring in the New Year than with a live update on our quarterly Consensus Forecast. HdL will report and provide insight on California’s retail economy based on current 3rd Quarter 2022 data. We hope you can attend!
Subscribe to receive HdL legislative and regulatory updates, economic forecasts, industry headlines and more.