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May’s Retail Sales Show Consumer Resilience and Confidence in the Economy

Retail sales rose 0.5 percent in May seasonally adjusted from April and up 3.2 percent unadjusted year-over-year, the National Retail Federation said today. The numbers exclude automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants.

“Today’s retail numbers, and upward revisions to prior months, reinforce the ongoing strength of the consumer and are consistent with a pick up in the pace of the economy in the coming months. The strong job market, recent income gains and elevated confidence translates into ongoing support for spending. Households, in the aggregate, are in solid financial condition but an escalation in trade tariffs will undoubtedly create a considerable downdraft to confidence and spending, or lead to...

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Jun 17 8:36 AM, General News



Retailers Continue to Stock Up Inventory to Get Ahead of More Tariffs

Imports at the nation’s major retail container ports are expected to continue to grow this summer as retailers stock up inventory to get ahead of higher tariffs, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“With a major tariff increase already announced and the possibility that tariffs could be imposed on nearly all goods and inputs from China, retailers are continuing to stock up while they can to protect their customers as much as possible against the price increases that will follow,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “Tariffs are taxes paid by American businesses and consumers, not foreign governments. Retailers will continue to do everything they possibly can to mitigate the impact of tariffs on consumers, but if we see further escalation in the trade war, it will be much more difficult to avoid higher price tags on a wide range of products...

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Jun 7 12:30 PM, General News


Slower Tax Refunds and Weather Affect April Retail Sales but Fundamentals 'Remain Positive'

Retail sales were down 0.2 percent in April seasonally adjusted from March but up 5.2 percent unadjusted year-over-year, the National Retail Federation said today. The numbers exclude automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants.

“Slower tax refunds and weather may have been key factors impacting April’s numbers, but the fundamentals remain positive, particularly in long-term comparisons,” NRF Chief Economic Jack Kleinhenz said, citing flooding in the middle of the country and blizzards and extreme temperature swings elsewhere along with a soft housing market that impacted sales of furniture, appliances and building materials. “Despite there being a lot of...

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May 16 8:20 AM, General News


Latest Tariff List is ‘Far too Great a Gamble for the U.S. Economy,’ says NRF

The National Retail Federation issued the following statement from President and CEO Matthew Shay after the Trump administration released a list of $300 billion of Chinese goods that will be targeted by additional tariffs of 25 percent.

“We support the administration’s efforts to deliver a meaningful trade agreement that levels the playing field for American businesses and workers. But the latest tariff escalation is far too great a gamble for the U.S. economy. Slapping tariffs on everything U.S. companies import from China – goods that support U.S. manufacturing and provide consumers with affordable products – will jeopardize American jobs and increase costs for consumers.

“Taxing Americans on everyday products like clothes and shoes is not the answer for holding China accountable. Working with our allies who share the same concerns and immediately rejoining TPP are more effective ways to put pressure on China without...

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May 15 9:53 AM, General News


Retail Imports Rising Ahead of Expected Higher Tariffs

With retail sales rising and President Trump saying he plans to both increase and broaden tariffs on goods from China, imports at the nation’s major retail container ports are expected to see unusually high levels the remainder of this spring and through the summer, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“Much of this is driven by consumer demand but retailers are likely to resume stocking up merchandise before new tariffs can take effect,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “Tariff increases and new tariffs will mean higher costs for U.S. businesses, higher prices for American consumers and lost jobs for many American workers. We encourage the administration to stay focused on a trade agreement, and...

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May 9 11:39 AM, General News


Retailers Respond to Administration’s Threat to Raise Tariffs

The National Retail Federation issued the following statement from Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French in response to the President’s threat to raise tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods from 10 to 25 percent.

“Tariffs are taxes paid by American businesses and consumers, not by China. A sudden tariff increase with less than a week’s notice would severely disrupt U.S. businesses, especially small companies that have limited resources to mitigate the impact. If the administration follows through on this threat, American consumers will face higher prices and U.S. jobs will be lost.

“We want to see meaningful changes in China’s trade practices, but it makes no sense to punish Americans as a negotiating tactic. If the administration wants to put more pressure on China...

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May 6 2:08 PM, General News


Mother’s Day Expected to Deliver Highest Consumer Spending to Date

Mother’s Day spending is expected to total a record $25 billion this year, up from $23.1 billion in 2018, according to the annual survey released today by the National Retail Federation. A total 84 percent of U.S. adults are expected to celebrate in honor of their mothers and other women in their lives.

“Mother’s Day spending has been growing consistently over the past several years, and this year’s spending is expected to be the highest in the 16-year history of our survey,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Consumers are excited to celebrate all the moms in their lives, and retailers are ready to inspire consumers with unique gift options.”

While the number of people celebrating Mother’s Day is in line with last year’s 86 percent, those celebrating are expected to...

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Apr 25 9:47 AM, General News


Retail Imports Rising Again as Summer Approaches

With tariff increases delayed for the foreseeable future and the busy summer season approaching, imports at the nation’s major retail container ports are beginning to climb again, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“Retailers are starting to stock up in anticipation of a strong summer,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “Tariff increases are on hold and progress is being reported in talks between the United States and China, so the imports we’re seeing now are driven primarily by expectations for consumer demand.”

U.S. ports covered by Global Port Tracker handled 1.62 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units in February, the latest month for ...

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Apr 9 8:26 AM, General News


Retailers Warn Border Closure would be ‘Self-Inflicted Wound to the American Economy’

The National Retail Federation today sent a letter to Trump administration officials expressing concerns over ongoing threats to close the United States-Mexico border and outlining how a closure would hurt U.S. retailers, workers and consumers.

“We share the administration’s goal of fixing the nation’s broken immigration system and enhancing border security,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “However, there is no way to close the U.S-Mexico border without inflicting serious damage to ...

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Apr 4 1:44 PM, General News


February Retail Sales Increased 2.7 Percent Over 2018

Retail sales were down 0.7 percent in February seasonally adjusted from January but up 2.7 percent unadjusted year-over-year as delays and revisions related to the government shutdown continued to make comparisons difficult, the National Retail Federation said today. The numbers exclude automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants.

“The weaker-than-expected February retail sales numbers reflect colder weather and increased precipitation that kept shoppers home but were also skewed downward because of the government’s upward revision in January’s results,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “The aftereffects of the ...

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Apr 1 2:05 PM, General News


Retailers Welcome Bipartisan Legislation to Address Tax Bill Typo

The National Retail Federation welcomed bipartisan legislation introduced in the Senate today that would fix a drafting error in the tax reform law that took effect in 2018. The error relating to depreciation rules is delaying job-creating investments in stores and restaurants across the country.

“It’s hard to imagine that an unintended typo in a tax law has created so much uncertainty, but that’s exactly what many American retailers have been dealing with for over a year now,” NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French said. “This error might seem small, but it’s having a large impact on companies that have been forced to delay or cancel improvement projects to stores and restaurants, costing new jobs as a result. Congress has allowed this issue and ...

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Mar 15 8:14 AM, General News


Modern Retailers are Meeting Multichannel Consumer Demands

As more consumers embrace multichannel shopping, retailers are diversifying their investments online and offline to meet customers’ needs, according to the annual State of Retailing Online study released today by the National Retail Federation and Forrester.

“Retailers are evolving with customers’ shopping behaviors by creating a seamless shopping experience online and in store,” NRF Vice President of Research Development and Industry Analysis Mark Mathews said. “From pop-up stores to social marketing, retailers are finding innovative ways to engage and acquire new customers.”

Retailers clearly see the value of physical stores, particularly as ecommerce costs are increasing. More than half of surveyed retailers confirm they will ...

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Mar 11 9:56 AM, General News


Retailers Urge Congress to Pass Tariff Relief Legislation

The National Retail Federation called on Congress to pass legislation introduced today that would require that a process be established to exclude some items from the Trump administration’s tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.

“We are encouraged by the progress made between the United States and China, but tariffs are still taking a toll on hardworking Americans across the country,” NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French said. “Establishing a timely and efficient tariff exclusion process is the least Washington can do for American businesses that have no alternative supplier and for working families that rely on everyday products. We are grateful for the bipartisan, bicameral leadership of Senators Lankford and Coons and Representatives Kind and Walorski, and ...

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Mar 1 8:51 AM, General News


Retailers Welcome Progress on Trade Negotiations and Delay of Tariff Increase

The National Retail Federation issued the following statement from President and CEO Matthew Shay after the administration delayed a tariff increase on Chinese goods set to take effect this week.

“We welcome the progress made between the U.S. and China and commend the administration for its efforts to address unfair trading practices. The decision to avoid a tariff hike is a positive development, and we encourage the administration to build on this momentum and reach a resolution that will eliminate uncertainty for American businesses and ...

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Feb 25 8:58 AM, General News


2018 Holiday Sales Grew Amid Turmoil Over Trade Policy and Delay in Data Collection

Holiday retail sales during 2018 grew a lower-than-expected 2.9 percent over the same period in 2017 to $707.5 billion, the National Retail Federation said today after the Commerce Department released data that had been delayed by nearly a month because of the recent government shutdown.

“All signs during the holidays seemed to show that consumers remained confident about the economy,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “However, it appears that worries over the trade war and turmoil in the stock markets impacted consumer behavior more than we expected. There’s also a question of whether the government shutdown and resulting delay in collecting data might have made the results less reliable. It’s very disappointing that clearly avoidable actions by the government influenced consumer confidence and unnecessarily depressed December retail sales ...

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Feb 18 9:03 AM, General News


Retail Imports Still Strong as Possible March Tariff Hike Approaches

Imports at the nation’s major retail container ports have dipped since peaks seen last fall but remain at higher-than-usual levels as a possible increase in tariffs on goods from China approaches in March, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“With trade talks with China still unresolved, retailers appear to be bringing spring merchandise into the country early in case tariffs go up in March,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “We are hopeful that the talks will succeed, but until the trade war is behind us, retailers need to do what they can to mitigate the higher prices that will inevitably come with tariffs ...

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Feb 12 8:47 AM, General News


Industry Reacts to President Trump's State of the Union Address

President Donald Trump delivered the annual State of the Union Address to the American people in the House Chamber last night. Now, the industry is reacting to the speech, with responses being produced by the USDA, the National Retail Federation, and the National Cattleman's Beef Association.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue mentioned that President Trump highlighted Administration accomplishments and the booming economy, but also optimistically stated that even greater achievements lie ahead. Perdue stated that, "The President's policies have been beneficial to American agriculture in the short term, but have also laid the foundation for long-term prosperity. Our trade agreements with other nations are getting stronger, and the strategies that the President has employed will lead to new and expanded markets for ...

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Feb 6 11:51 AM, Urner Barry


NRF Says ‘State of the Economy is Sound’ and Forecasts Retail Sales will Grow 

The National Retail Federation today forecast that retail sales during 2019 will increase between 3.8 percent and 4.4 percent to more than $3.8 trillion despite threats from an ongoing trade war, the volatile stock market and the effects of the government shutdown.

“We believe the underlying state of the economy is sound,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “More people are working, they’re making more money, their taxes are lower and their confidence remains high. The biggest priority is to ensure that our economy continues to grow and to avoid self-inflicted wounds. It’s time for artificial problems like trade wars and shutdowns to end, and to focus on prosperity not politics ...

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Feb 6 9:00 AM, General News


Legislation Expanding Executive Power Over Tariffs is Not what Congress Should Focus on, Says NRF

The National Retail Federation issued the following statement from Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French on the United States Reciprocal Trade Act, legislation expected to be introduced today by Representative Sean Duffy, R-Wis., that would give the executive branch unilateral authority to raise U.S. tariffs on any foreign country.

“At a time when American businesses and families are suffering under unilateral tariffs imposed by the administration, Congress should be working to protect local communities from an escalated trade war. This misguided legislation would do the exact opposite, giving the executive branch limitless power to raise taxes in the form of tariffs. Congress has already ceded far too much ...

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Jan 17 11:59 AM, General News


Retail Imports Level Off After Rush to Beat Tariffs

Imports at the nation’s major retail container ports have slowed down after a months-long rush to beat increased tariffs on goods from China, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“With the holiday season behind us, the immediate pressure to stock up on merchandise has passed but retailers remain concerned about tariffs and their impact on the nation’s economy,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “Retailers have also brought in much of their spring merchandise early to protect consumers against higher prices that will eventually come with tariffs. Our industry is hoping the talks currently under way will bring an end to this ill-advised trade war and result in ...

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Jan 8 2:52 PM, General News


November Retail Sales Increase 5 Percent Over 2017, Holiday Spending to Meet NRF Forecast

November retail sales were up 0.7 percent seasonally adjusted from October and increased 5 percent unadjusted year-over-year, completing the first half of the holiday shopping season with spending on track to easily meet the National Retail Federation’s forecast, NRF said today. The numbers exclude automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants.

“Consumers have the capacity and confidence to spend this holiday season,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said, citing the influence of stronger employment, improved wages, tax cuts and increased net worth. “This is a good start to the holiday season and consistent with our outlook. Consumer spending remains solid and clearly provides evidence that the economy is healthy as we head into ...

 

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Dec 14 12:36 PM, General News


250 Retail and Restaurant Companies Urge Congress to Fix Tax Reform Error Delaying Investment

The National Retail Federation and more than 250 retail, restaurant and other companies from across the country are urging Congress to fix a mistake in last year’s tax reform law as part of end-of-year legislation, saying the error has put millions of dollars in job-creating remodeling projects on hold.

“The delay in correcting this provision has caused economic hardship for numerous businesses, including retailers, restaurants, real estate and construction industries, as well as the manufacturers that supply products to the building trade,” the businesses said in a letter to members of the House and Senate. “The delay in investments has had ripple effects across the economy that impact the communities in which these ...

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Dec 10 12:46 PM, General News


Monthly Imports Reach 2 Million Containers for First Time as Retailers Continue Rush to Beat Tariffs

Imports at the nation’s major retail container ports have set another new record, reaching 2 million containers in a single month for the first time as retailers continued to bring merchandise into the country ahead of a now-postponed increase in tariffs on goods from China, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“President Trump has declared a temporary truce in the trade war, but these imports came in before that announcement was made,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “We hope that the temporary stand-down becomes permanent, but in the meantime there has been a rush to ...

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Dec 7 11:41 AM, General News


NRF Welcomes Delay of January 2019 Tariff Increase

The National Retail Federation issued the following statement from President and CEO Matthew Shay in response to the Trump administration’s decision to hold off on tariff increases that were set to take effect January 2019.

“We commend President Trump for his efforts to restore a fair and balanced trade relationship with China. The administration’s decision to give diplomacy a chance and at least temporarily avoid the imposition of increased and additional tariffs is an encouraging sign.

“It is clear the administration has heard the voices of those negatively impacted by existing tariffs ...

 

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Dec 3 4:43 PM, General News


Retail Imports Slow Down from Peak but Remain Strong Ahead of Tariff Increase

Imports at the nation’s major retail container ports have slowed down from their pre-holiday peak but remain at unusually high levels as retailers continue bringing in merchandise before tariffs increase in January, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“Imports have usually dropped off significantly by this time of year but we’re still seeing numbers that could have set records in the past,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “Part of this is driven by consumer demand in the strong economy but retailers also know that...

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Nov 9 9:56 AM, General News


Study Says Consumers Shop at Discount Retailers Regardless of Age or Income

Almost all U.S. consumers are value-conscious shoppers who regularly visit discount retailers to find a bargain, according to the latest issue of the quarterly Consumer View report released today by the National Retail Federation.

“Looking for the best price is a habit that cuts across almost every demographic,” NRF Vice President for Research Development and Industry Analysis Mark Mathews said. “Regardless of income or generation, virtually everyone wants a bargain whether it’s for everyday necessities or big-ticket splurges. Even those who can afford to shop elsewhere love finding a ‘steal,’ and it’s a habit that’s here to stay.”

“Off-price and discount shopping took off during the recession as price-conscious consumers looked to save on everything from brand-name goods to everyday household purchases,” the report said. “Now, eight years into the economic recovery, consumers continue to hunt for deals and discounts.”

The survey of more than 3,000 U.S. adults found that 89 percent said they shop at various types of discount retailers. Of those, 58 percent reported shopping at dollar stores, 50 percent at off-price stores like Ross or T.J. Maxx and discount grocers like Aldi or Lidl...

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Oct 15 12:59 PM, General News


Multi-Industry Coalition Urges USTR to Avoid Further Trade Escalation with China

The National Retail Federation and more than 150 organizations representing U.S. retailers, manufacturers, farmers, technology companies, natural gas and oil companies and other industries today submitted comments to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on the administration’s proposed tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports. The groups urged the administration to avoid further escalation with China and warned of the negative impact of tariffs on American businesses, families and workers.

“Continuing the tit-for-tat tariff escalation with China only serves to expand the harm to more U.S. economic interests, including farmers, families, businesses and workers,” the coalition wrote in a letter. “Our organizations agree that longstanding issues in China have negatively impacted many U.S. companies, and we support the administration’s efforts to negotiate meaningful, binding and long-term solutions with the Chinese government, (but) applying...

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Sep 7 9:56 AM, General News


Retail Imports to Set New Record This Month as Consumers Spend and Tariffs Take Effect

WASHINGTON – Driven by increasing consumer demand and rising retail sales, imports at the nation’s major retail container ports are expected to set a new record this month even though new tariffs on goods from China just took effect, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released Monday by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“Retailers cannot easily or quickly change their global supply chains, so imports from China and elsewhere are expected to continue to grow for the foreseeable future,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “As tariffs begin to hit imported consumer goods or the parts and equipment needed to produce U.S. goods, these hidden taxes will mean higher prices for Americans rather than significant changes to...

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Jul 11 12:05 AM, General News


Consumers are 'One Step Closer to Feeling the Full Effects of a Trade War'

WASHINGTON — The National Retail Federation on Thursday issued the following statement from President and CEO Matthew Shay in regard to U.S. tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods set to take effect Friday.

“With tariffs against China taking effect, American consumers are one step closer to feeling the full effects of a trade war. These tariffs will do nothing to protect U.S. jobs, but they will undermine the benefits of tax reform and drive up prices for a wide range of products as diverse as tool sets, batteries, remote controls, flash drives and thermostats. And students could pay more for the mini-refrigerator they need in their dorm room as they head back to college this fall.

“We strongly urge the administration to abandon its plans for tariffs on another $200 billion in Chinese imports, which...

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Jul 6 9:46 AM, General News


Amidst Constant Change, Largest Retailers Stay Ahead

Launching new strategies, augmenting the in-store experience and reengineering both logistics and digital commerce capabilities helped the largest U.S. retailers maintain their edge during the past year, according to the annual Top 100 Retailers list released today by the National Retail Federation’s STORES Magazine and Kantar Consulting.

“Retail today is a blend of innovation and experience, and the nation’s top retailers are showing the way,” STORES Media Editor Susan Reda said. “Companies large and small are transforming their businesses in the quest to satisfy shoppers who rewrite the rules of engagement faster than light.”

The 10 largest retailers on the list remain the same as last year, although the order has changed. Walmart remains...

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Jul 2 3:17 AM, General News




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