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. 

California Governor Imposes New Restrictions in Pandemic
California Gov. Gavin Newsom said he was pulling the “emergency brake” Monday on reopening the state’s economy as coronavirus cases surge at the fastest rate since the start of the outbreak. Newsom’s so-called emergency brake will halt reopening plans and put almost all of the state back under the strictest set of rules that halt indoor worship and force most indoor business to close or operate at a fraction of their capacity and keep most schools closed, including the nation’s second-largest school district in Los Angeles. Read More

U.S. Retail Sales Lose Speed as Pandemic, Lack of Fiscal Stimulus Weigh
U.S. retail sales increased less than expected in October and could slow further, restrained by spiraling new COVID-19 infections and declining household income as millions of unemployed Americans lose government financial support. Retail sales rose 0.3% last month, the smallest gain since the recovery started in May, after increasing 1.6% in September, the Commerce Department said. Read More

U.S. Holiday Ecommerce Sales Will Surge 35.8% to $190.47 Billion, Offsetting Brick-and-Mortar Declines
Retailers are bracing for a softer holiday season due to the pandemic. They will see, however, a major shift to ecommerce this holiday season. US consumers will spend $190.47 billion this year on holiday ecommerce purchases, up 35.8% and representing an incremental $50 billion in sales versus 2019. In-store holiday sales will decline by 4.7% to $822.79 million. But online gains will entirely make up for these losses, resulting in growth of 0.9% for total holiday season sales, to $1.013 trillion. Read More

Walmart Earnings Top Expectations as Customers’ New Shopping Habits Send E-Commerce Sales Soaring 79%
Walmart’s U.S. e-commerce sales soared by 79% in the third quarter, as customers continued to shop online during the coronavirus pandemic. Instead of browsing store aisles, more customers are shipping purchases to their homes, getting groceries dropped off at their doors or picking up online purchases by the curbside. “We think these new customer behaviors will largely persist and we’re well positioned to serve customers with the value and experience they’re looking for,” Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said.  Read More

Ulta Beauty Strikes Deal to Open Hundreds of Shops at Target Stores

Target and Ulta Beauty announced a deal to open makeup and skincare shops inside of hundreds of Target stores across the country. Target CEO Brian Cornell said starting in the second half of next year, shoppers will find a smaller version of an Ulta store in more than 100 of Target’s stores and on its website. Each “shop-in-shop” will be about 1,000 square feet with more than 40 beauty brands and a rotating assortment of products from hair care and fragrances to lip gloss. Read More


California Faces Accusations of Crushing Online Merchants with Back Sales Tax
The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) is being sued for “crushing thousands of small business owners” by holding Fulfillment by Amazon sellers liable for back sales tax. The Online Merchants Guild, a trade association for small online businesses, is the plaintiff.  The issue it raises is interesting: Should the CDTFA be able to hold Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) sellers liable for back sales tax based on inventory stored in the state, perhaps unbeknownst to them, in Amazon warehouses? Read More

Target Steals More Market Share as Same-Day Channels Grow 217% in Q3
Heading into the holiday season, Target looks unstoppable as it continues posting banner sales growth and expansion in its omnichannel services. The retailer reported third-quarter comparable sales growth of 20.7%, driven by growth in both store traffic (up 4.5%) and ticket size (up 15.6%). Digital comp sales increased 155%, with sales in Target's same-day channels (Order Pick Up, Drive Up and Shipt) growing 217% in Q3. Target's top-line sales for the quarter were up 21.3% year over year to $22.3 billion. Read More

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