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Weekly Insights Dec 30, 2016

Executive Summary

  • This week’s note “From the Desk of Deborah Weinswig” discusses US economic and consumer trends in 2016 and provides an outlook for consumer spending in 2017 and beyond.
  • A jump in consumer spending in the final stretch of December significantly offset a slow start to the US holiday shopping season, and is likely to help many retailers beat sales forecasts, according to industry research groups.
  • The National Retail Federation said more people shopped online throughout Black Friday weekend than shopped in physical stores. However, some stores, such as T.J.Maxx and Marshalls, are bucking the trend: these stores do not care about online sales because their businesses are based on the real-life retail experience.
  • UK department-store chain House of Fraser recently opened its long-anticipated first Chinese store, in Nanjing. House of Fraser was acquired by China’s Sanpower Group in 2014 and the first Chinese opening had originally been planned for 2015. The company is expected to carve space for House of Fraser stores in its existing shopping centers, rather than buying or renting new sites.

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