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NRF Chief Economist Says Pandemic Recession Could Already be Easing but 'No One Has a Crystal Ball'

The economic downturn brought on by the coronavirus pandemic has officially been declared a recession, but National Retail Federation Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said today the key question is how long it will last.

“Will this recession be briefer than earlier recessions?” Kleinhenz said. “No one has a crystal ball. And just as it can take months to be certain a recession has begun, it can take time to declare when one is over.”

“While it would be unusual for a recession to last less than six months, it is possible that the current one could have already ended with May’s rebound,” Kleinhenz said. “The good news is that the recession may have...

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Jul 2 11:26 AM, General News



May Retail Sales Improve Dramatically Over April but Still Below Last Year

Retail sales rose dramatically in May as retailers and other businesses closed by the coronavirus pandemic began to reopen, but remained well below spending levels seen during the same period a year ago, the National Retail Federation said.

“This sales report is very encouraging news at a time when we need to focus on what will happen as retail doors open once again,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said during a live interview on CNBC’s Squawk Box program. “For a sick economy, there is no better medicine than retailers responding to consumers who are ready to safely return to stores. These sales numbers do not reflect the same strength we had going into the pandemic, but they certainly reflect the trajectory we need coming out of it. The most important thing now is...

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Jun 18 8:18 AM, General News


Pandemic's Impact on Imports Easing, but Numbers are Still Below Last Year

The impact of COVID-19 at major U.S. retail container ports appears to be easing slightly, with projected imports remaining below last year’s levels but not as much as previously forecast, according to the Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“The numbers we’re seeing are still below last year, but are better than what we expected a month ago,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “It may still be too soon to say but we’ll take that as a sign that the situation could be slowly starting to improve. Consumers want to get back to shopping, and as more people get back to work, retailers want to be sure...

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Jun 10 8:19 AM, General News


National Retail Federation Announces New Board Members

The National Retail Federation elected two new members to the NRF Board of Directors during its virtual summer board meeting.

The NRF board welcomed Hal Lawton, president and CEO of Tractor Supply Company, and Anish Melwani, chairman and CEO of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton Inc. They will both serve a two-year term until June 2022.

“Hal Lawton and Anish Melwani have shown exceptional leadership during the past few months as our country and the retail industry have faced the coronavirus pandemic and...

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Jun 5 2:19 PM, General News


Uncertainty Surrounds the Reopening of Businesses

While the reopening of businesses shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic is a significant step forward, the rate at which the economy will recover or consumers will feel comfortable resuming activities such as dining out or shopping remains to be seen.

“Is it possible the worst of the coronavirus pandemic is behind us? Maybe, but we are not out of the woods yet, and uncertainty abounds,” said National Retail Federation Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz.

Kleinhenz added, “Predicting what will happen is even more challenging than usual. While history often helps guide us, previous downturns offer little guidance on what is likely to unfold over the next six to 12 months. There is no user’s manual in which government, businesses or consumers can find...

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Jun 3 8:07 AM, Urner Barry


April Retail Sales Drop Nearly Twice as Much as March During Coronavirus Pandemic

Retail sales dropped almost twice as much during April as they did in March as the nation’s economy saw its first full month when most businesses were closed because of the coronavirus pandemic, the National Retail Federation said.

“As predicted, retail sales were bad in April and lower than in March,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “This should come as no surprise since April was the first full month when most businesses not considered essential were closed, both in retail and across the economy. But month-to-month comparisons provide little insight other than indicating that most of the economy was on lockdown. Now that we’re in mid-May, many businesses are already starting to reopen. Relief payments and pent-up demand should provide some degree of post-shutdown rebound, but...

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May 18 9:37 AM, General News


Imports to See Double-Digit Annual Declines Even as Stores Begin to Reopen

Imports at major U.S. retail container ports are expected to see double-digit year-over-year declines this spring and summer as the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic continue, according to the Global Port Tracker report released by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“Factories in China are largely back online and stores that closed here in the U.S.. are starting to reopen, but volume is far lower than what we would see in a ‘normal’ year,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “Shoppers will come back and there is still a need for essential items, but the economic recovery will be...

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May 12 8:16 AM, General News


NRF Chief Economist: Recovery Likely to Come in 'Fits and Starts'

With some stores starting to reopen as governors lift stay-at-home orders across the country, economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic is likely to come gradually and may vary by location, National Retail Federation Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said.

“Getting back to work or shopping in a pre-virus manner is difficult to predict at this time, with households likely to tiptoe back in rather than making an immediate return to the lives they experienced before,” Kleinhenz said. “As states begin to slowly reopen and assuming the coronavirus does not come back, the economy should begin a process of gradual recovery. My overall impression is that the recovery will have fits and starts among states, regions and cities depending on...

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May 8 8:07 AM, General News


Retailers Unveil Blueprint for Shopping Safe

The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and the National Retail Federation (NRF) released a Blueprint for Shopping Safe outlining a phased-in approach to reopening retail. The plan urges governors to issue uniform, statewide protocols for retailers to adopt as they reopen stores and work to keep employees and customers safe.

“As conversations turn to the reopening of the economy, retailers are uniquely situated to provide input, because we’ve been on both sides of the stay at home orders.” said Brian Dodge, RILA president. “Groceries, pharmacies and other retailers that have remained open have implemented practices and protocols that are keeping employees and communities safe.

The Blueprint builds off those successful operating practices. Our goal is for the safe reopen of retail, and we want everyone, policymakers, employees and...

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Apr 28 8:18 AM, General News


Retailers Call Additional Funding for Small Business Loans 'Important Step On the Path to Recovery'

The National Retail Federation welcomed House action on legislation to increase funding for loans to small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.

“There are many small retailers that won’t be in business by the time the economy reopens if these loans dry up,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “This funding will let them keep their workers on the payroll and help the economy avoid the ripple effects that will come if additional businesses cease to operate and more people lose their jobs. This is an important step on the path to recovery not just for these businesses but...

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Apr 27 8:23 AM, General News


Retailers Welcome Legislation to Expand Small Business Pandemic Loans

The National Retail Federation welcomed a nearly $500 billion package set for a vote in the Senate that would increase funding for loans to small businesses and provide other economic aid during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Retailers continue to deal with catastrophic hardships from COVID-19 and small retailers are the hardest hit,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “The CARES Act was an important first step but funding for the Paycheck Protection Program has already been exhausted and additional relief is essential to keeping employees of small retailers on the payroll and contributing to the economy until we can get through this challenge. This assistance is too important to be given out on a first-come, first-served basis and limited to those who were the quickest to file their applications. This measure will ensure...

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Apr 23 8:17 AM, General News


NRF Statement on Administration’s Tariff Deferral Announcement

The National Retail Federation today issued the following statement from President and CEO Matthew Shay on the Trump Administration’s announcement to delay the collection of import duties amid COVID-19 pandemic:

“The White House announcement that the government is providing a limited duty deferral for importers is welcome news to retailers struggling to find any good news during this extremely difficult time. We encourage the administration to broaden these deferrals for additional relief. Retailers don’t build stores, buy products and hire associates only to close their doors for weeks at a time. The challenges to the retail industry brought on by this pandemic are...

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Apr 21 8:14 AM, General News


Retail Industry Leaders Inform President Trump’s Advisory Group on Reopening the U.S. Economy

The National Retail Federation issued the following statement from President and CEO Matthew Shay in response to his participation with other retail industry and business leaders on a White House call for the initiation of the Great American Economic Revival Industry Groups.

“Retailers are on the front line and fully engaged in their communities in this war against coronavirus. The health of their associates, customers and communities is their number one priority.

We are grateful to President Trump, Vice President Pence and Secretary Mnuchin for bringing together some of the most successful business leaders in the world to gather their perspective on how...

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Apr 16 2:04 PM, General News


Retailers Ask for More Aid for Larger Businesses

The National Retail Federation issued the following statement from President and CEO Matthew Shay in response to announcements made by the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department on efforts to help businesses with liquidity issues during the coronavirus pandemic:

"As part of the next round of liquidity support for U.S. businesses, today’s release by the Federal Reserve Bank of new term sheets is a welcome development. By strengthening the efficiency of the Paycheck Protection Program and clarifying terms to speed relief to small and mid-market businesses through the Mainstreet Lending Program, the government is...

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Apr 14 8:15 AM, General News


Estimated March Imports Hit Five-Year Low, Declines Expected to Continue Amid Pandemic

Estimates show that imports at major U.S. retail container ports dropped to their lowest level in five years in March, and imports are projected to remain significantly below normal levels through early summer as the coronavirus pandemic continues, according to the Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“Even as factories in China have begun to get back to work, we are seeing far fewer imports coming into the United States than previously expected,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “Many stores are closed, and consumer demand has been impacted with...

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Apr 9 8:20 AM, General News


NRF Chief Economist: Stopping the Pandemic is First Step to Restoring Sound Economy

In the April issue of the National Retail Federation’s Monthly Economic Review, NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz says the coronavirus pandemic “has triggered shocks” – but that the underlying economy is sound.

“How quickly the country gets a handle on containing the virus will determine the degree of the impact on the economy and how soon businesses can reopen,” Kleinhenz wrote in the report. “We expect a severe contraction, and if the nation doesn’t get the virus under control the fallout will be worse.”

Gross domestic product that was growing at a 2.1 percent annual rate at the end of 2019 is “about to go into a mandated nosedive,” according to the report. And retail sales data for March...

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Apr 3 8:24 AM, General News


Industry Reacts to Senate Passage of the Coronavirus Stimulus Package

The $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package is expected to pass in Congress. The Senate passed the legislation Wednesday evening and the House is set to vote today. The bill includes $250 billion to make unemployment insurance available to more categories of workers and to extend the duration of benefits. About $150 billion will go to states, distributed according to population size. Another $349 billion will be used as loans for small businesses.

Matthew Shay, President and CEO of the National Retail Federation, said, "Companies that were investing, growing and contributing to a vibrant economy just a few weeks ago have been thrust into survival mode through no fault of their own." The Federation spoke on behalf of the retail industry in a press release by expressing appreciation for the efforts by leaders in Congress and President Trump to...

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Mar 27 8:17 AM, Urner Barry


Business Groups Send Letter to White House Calling for Economic Stabilization Efforts

The National Retail Federation was among 90 retail industry trade groups that sent a letter to the White House applauding the Trump Administration and House and Senate leadership for their efforts to protect public health and minimize the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The letter states, “The economic harm from social distancing and mandatory store closures is real. Layoffs and economic hardship will surely follow, particularly for smaller, specialty retailers and brands. The biggest single issue facing the industry right now is liquidity, and federal stimulus efforts must be swift and flexible enough to address the urgent need for access to credit to keep these businesses afloat.”

The retail industry, and the associated suppliers they support, are suffering cumulative losses that amount to tens of billions of dollars every week. As the nation’s largest...

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Mar 24 8:17 AM, General News


Coronavirus Impact on Imports Expected to Be Larger and Longer than Previously Expected

The coronavirus outbreak is expected to have a longer and larger impact on imports at major U.S. retail container ports than previously believed as factory shutdowns and travel restrictions in China continue to affect production, according to the Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“There are still a lot of unknowns to fully determine the impact of the coronavirus on the supply chain,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “As factories in China continue to come back online, products are now flowing again. But there are still issues affecting cargo movement, including...

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Mar 10 8:22 AM, General News


NRF Says Consumers Continue to Drive Economy, Forecasts Retail Sales will Grow

The National Retail Federation today forecast that retail sales during 2020 will increase between 3.5 percent and 4.1 percent to more than $3.9 trillion despite uncertainty from the lingering trade war, coronavirus and the presidential election.

“The nation’s record-long economic expansion is continuing, and consumers remain the drivers of that expansion,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “With gains in household income and wealth, lower interest rates and strong consumer confidence, we expect another healthy year ahead. There are always wild cards we cannot control like coronavirus and...

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Feb 27 8:14 AM, General News


January Retail Sales Grew 2.7 Percent Over Last Year

Retail sales in January increased 0.2 percent seasonally adjusted over December and were up 2.7 percent unadjusted year-over-year, the National Retail Federation said.

“The strength of consumer spending continues to be the anchor of the current economic expansion,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “January’s retail sales results reflect a confident consumer supported by solid wage growth and job gains. While the business sector continues to weigh significant uncertainties, consumers are providing staying power for...

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Feb 14 11:57 AM, General News


February Retail Imports to See Larger Drop Amid Coronavirus

With coronavirus causing longer Lunar New Year shutdowns of factories in China, imports at major U.S. retail container ports are expected to see a sharper-than-usual drop this month, according to the Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“February is historically a slow month for imports because of Lunar New Year and the lull between retailers’ holiday season and summer, but this is an unusual situation,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “Many Chinese factories have already stayed closed longer than usual, and...

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Feb 11 8:14 AM, Urner Barry


2020 Super Bowl: Consumers to Spend $17.2 Billion

The latest consumer spending data from the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics’ 2020 Super Bowl survey suggests this may be one of the strongest Super Bowls yet, with millions of adults saying they have plans for the big game. Those watching the event expect to spend an average $88.65 on food and beverages, merchandise and party supplies, for a total $17.2 billion nationwide.

A total of 193.8 million adults plan to watch the Super Bowl this Sunday, with those watching expected to spend an average of $7.35 more than last year. Food and beverages are the most popular purchases at...

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Jan 31 8:57 AM, General News


Retailers Welcome Phase One Trade Deal with China but Say Remaining Tariffs Must End

The National Retail Federation welcomed the signing of a “phase one” trade agreement between the United States and China but said work remains to be done to end the trade war between the two countries.

“NRF strongly supports the administration’s efforts to address China’s unfair trading practices but we hope this is the first step toward eliminating all of the tariffs imposed over the past two years,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “The trade war won’t be over until all of these tariffs are gone. We are glad to see...

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Jan 17 8:16 AM, General News


National Retail Federation: Growing Emphasis on Convenience for Today’s Consumers

Today’s consumers increasingly prioritize convenience when it comes to purchases, and expect retailers to continue to offer innovative ways to save them time and effort, according to the latest issue of the Consumer View report released today by the National Retail Federation.

“Time is a precious commodity for today’s consumers,” NRF Vice President for Research Development and Industry Analysis Mark Mathews said. “Shoppers are busier with commuting to work, dealing with family obligations or catching up on schoolwork, among other things. Naturally, convenience factors are playing a larger role in their shopping experience.”

According to the report, 83 percent of consumers say convenience while shopping is more important to them now compared with five years ago. While consumers overwhelmingly opt for...

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Jan 15 8:14 AM, General News


Retail Imports Settling Down After Year of Tariff Surges

After a year of fluctuations driven by the uncertainty of the trade war with China, volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to return to its usual seasonal patterns during the first few months of 2020, according to the Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“We’ll be more confident after we see the Phase One agreement signed, but right now 2020 looks like it should be back to what used to be normal,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “We’ve been through a cycle of imports surging ahead of expected tariff increases – some of which got delayed, reduced or canceled – and falling off again afterward. That’s not good for retailers trying to manage...

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Jan 10 9:10 AM, General News


Retailers Call China Trade Announcement 'Right Direction' but Say a Final Deal is Needed

The National Retail Federation today welcomed news that the United States and China have agreed on a “phase one” trade deal.

“For the first time in months, the United States and China are moving in the right direction on tariffs, and we congratulate negotiators from both sides for the progress they have made,” NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French said. “Tariffs create uncertainty and costs for American retail supply chains, and the trade war won’t be over until they are eliminated completely. We agree that we need to realign our relationship with China, but tariffs that harm...

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Dec 16 8:21 AM, General News


Industry Reacts to Agreement on USMCA 

United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced agreement on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Mexico approved U.S. changes to the USMCA, paving the way for a congressional ratification. The Trump Administration worked closely with Congressional Democrats to address their concerns in the revisions to the trade agreement.

The USMCA will advance U.S. agricultural interests in two of the most important markets for American farmers, ranchers, and agribusiness. This high-standard agreement builds upon the country's existing markets to expand United States food and agricultural exports while supporting food processing and rural jobs. According to the USDA, Canada and Mexico are the first and...

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Dec 11 8:20 AM, Urner Barry


Retail Imports Surged in November Ahead of December Tariffs

Volume at the nation’s major container ports bumped up significantly in November as retailers imported merchandise ahead of new tariffs set to take effect this month, according to the Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“At this point, holiday merchandise is already in the country, so the direct impact of new tariffs won’t be seen until the season is over,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “Nonetheless, tariffs are bad for both consumer and business confidence, and we hope that the December tariffs will be canceled or postponed as a sign of good faith. We need a deal with China as soon as possible so we can...

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Dec 10 8:14 AM, General News


Retailers Say Extending Trade War Past 2020 Elections Would Be ‘Bad Deal’ for U.S. Economy

The National Retail Federation today issued the following statement from Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French in response to President Trump’s comments that he might wait until after the 2020 elections to reach a trade agreement with China:

“We want and need to see a deal as soon as possible. The tariffs continue to hurt U.S. businesses, workers and consumers and are a substantial drag on the U.S. economy. Waiting another year to resolve the cost and uncertainty of the trade war is a bad deal not just for retailers and their customers but every segment of the economy from farmers who export their crops to...

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Dec 4 9:09 AM, General News


Thanksgiving Weekend Draws Nearly 190 Million Shoppers, Spending Up 16 Percent

A record 189.6 million U.S. consumers shopped from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday this year, an increase of 14 percent over last year’s 165.8 million, the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics said today.

“Americans continue to start their holiday shopping earlier in the year, and Thanksgiving is still a critical weekend for millions,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Whether they’re looking for something unique on Main Street, making a trip to the store or searching for the best deals from their mobile device, this is when shoppers shift into high gear. With the condensed holiday season, consumers are feeling the pressure to get their shopping done in time. Even those who typically wait until...

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Dec 4 8:19 AM, General News


Half of Holiday Shoppers Have Already Started

More than half of consumers have already started their holiday shopping and nearly a quarter of purchases have already been made, according to the annual survey released today by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

“This is further evidence that the holiday season has grown far beyond the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Thanksgiving is still a hallmark of the season, and there’s billions of dollars in shopping still to come. But many consumers have already been shopping for weeks, and retailers are increasingly adapting to that.”

The survey found 56 percent of consumers asked during the first week of November had already begun their holiday shopping, about the same as...

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Nov 25 9:06 AM, General News


October Retail Sales Grew 4.2 Percent Over Last Year

Retail sales in October increased 0.2 percent seasonally adjusted over September and were up 4.2 percent unadjusted year-over-year, the National Retail Federation said.

“Despite the gradual slowdown in the U.S. economy, consumers are in a good place and October’s retail sales are a step forward into the all-important holiday season,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “Uncertainty around trade policy has impacted consumer sentiment recently but ongoing job growth, low interest rates, low inflation and the stock market hitting record highs provide support for consumer spending.”

October’s results make up for most of the 0.3 percent month-over-month decline seen in September and build on September’s year-over-year increase of...

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Nov 19 9:51 AM, General News


Retail Imports to See Final Tariff-Driven Surge of the Year

Imports at the nation’s major retail container ports are expected to see their final surge of the year this month ahead of new tariffs set to take effect in December, according to the Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“Retailers are highly competitive, but the ability to compete has been challenging this year because of the uncertainty of the trade war and continued tariff escalation,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “Retailers are encouraged by reports that China and the United States have agreed to remove at least some of the existing tariffs once a ‘phase one’ deal is signed. We are eager to see concrete evidence that the trade war is coming to an end with...

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Nov 11 8:19 AM, General News


Social Media Driving Impressive Halloween Spending

U.S. consumers are using social media to find Halloween inspiration and it is driving near-record spending for the holiday in 2019.

According to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey, shoppers will spend an average of $86.27 on Halloween, just slightly below last year’s record of $86.79. In total that works out to $8.8 billion. That total marks the third-highest mark in the survey’s 15-year industry.

“Spending hasn’t changed much over the past few years, but we are seeing a noticeable increase in...

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Oct 31 8:16 AM, Urner Barry


Holiday Shoppers Plan to Spend 4 Percent More this Year

Consumers say they will spend an average of $1,047.83 this holiday season, up 4 percent from the $1,007.24 they said they would spend last year, according to the annual survey released today by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. Shoppers between the ages of 35 and 44 plan to spend the most at $1,158.63.

“Consumers are in good financial shape and willing to spend a little more on gifts for the special people in their lives this holiday season,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Retailers are fully prepared to meet the needs of holiday shoppers looking for that perfect mix of sales, quality and selection.”

Shay noted that retailers are expected to import near-record volumes of merchandise ahead of the tariffs that are scheduled to take effect on...

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Oct 28 8:27 AM, General News


September Sales Grew 4.5 Percent Over Last Year 

According to the National Retail Federation, retail sales in September were down 0.1 percent seasonally adjusted from August, but up 4.5 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

“The pullback in September compared with August is possibly a reaction to increased fears over U.S.-China tensions,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “While uncertainty around trade policy and other issues has dampened consumer sentiment recently, consumers still have a lot going for them as evidenced by longer-term trends and factors like the tight labor market. September is a tricky month to measure because of seasonal factors like the end of summer and back-to-school spending, and this year’s...

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Oct 17 8:21 AM, Urner Barry


Retailers Welcome Progress on Trade, say Administration has Listened to Concerns

The National Retail Federation today issued the following statement from Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French after the Trump administration announced that a scheduled tariff hike from 25 percent to 30 percent on $250 billion worth of goods from China will not take place next week as negotiators finalize a tentative trade deal.

“Retailers are encouraged by the progress made between the United States and China and are pleased that the administration has listened to the concerns of the business community as the trade war takes an increasing toll on the American economy. The decision to delay planned tariff hikes is...

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Oct 14 9:28 AM, General News


Retail Imports to See Surge Ahead of December Tariffs

Imports at the nation’s major retail container ports are expected to hit their highest level of the year again next month just before more tariffs take effect in December, according to the Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“This is the last chance to bring merchandise into the country before virtually everything the United States imports from China comes under tariffs,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “Retailers are doing all they can to mitigate the impact of tariffs on their customers. The effect on prices will vary by retailer and product during the holiday season, but ultimately...

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Oct 9 11:35 AM, General News


August Retail Sales Grew 4.1 Percent Over Last Year but New Tariffs Present 'Downside Risk'

Retail sales were up 0.4 percent in August seasonally adjusted from July and up 4.6 percent unadjusted year-over-year, the National Retail Federation said today. The numbers exclude automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants.

“While consumer attitudes about the economy indicate some retreating optimism, the bottom line is that consumer spending remained resilient in August and continued to be a key contributor to U.S. economic growth,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “Trends remain strong, but August grew somewhat slower than July, which could reflect consumers’ concerns about the unpredictability of trade policy. It is too early to assess the impact of the new tariffs that took effect at the beginning of this month, but...

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Sep 17 8:20 AM, General News


Retailers Respond to Announcement of US-China Trade Talks

The National Retail Federation issued the following statement from President and CEO Matthew Shay after the announcement that China and the U.S. will hold high-level trade talks in October.

“We are encouraged by the confirmation of US-China trade talks. We urge the administration to end this trade war and come to an agreement that results in a complete roll back of the existing tariffs. This trade war has gone on far too long, and the harmful consequences for American businesses and consumers continue to grow. We are optimistic both sides will come together and make significant progress toward a trade deal that resets US-China trade relations and...

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Sep 6 8:16 AM, General News


Retailers Respond to Tariff Escalation: ‘Where Does This End?’

The National Retail Federation issued the following statement from Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French after the Trump administration announced that current tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods will rise from 25 to 30 percent on October 1. New tariffs set to take effect September 1 and December 15 on $300 billion in Chinese goods will rise from 10 to 15 percent.

"It's impossible for businesses to plan for the future in this type of environment. The administration's approach clearly isn't working, and...

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Aug 26 10:22 AM, General News


July Retail Sales Show Strong Gains

Retail sales were up 0.9 percent in July seasonally adjusted from June and up 5.6 percent unadjusted year-over-year, the National Retail Federation said today. The numbers exclude automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants.

“July’s strong results are consistent with a confident consumer,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “Households are in good shape with spending and that should continue as long as the labor market remains healthy. But it’s important to remember that today’s data is looking backward at what was happening a month ago. The impact of volatile financial markets and increased trade tensions in recent weeks may put a wind of caution in consumer spending as...

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Aug 16 8:15 AM, General News


Retailers Respond to Tariff Delay Ahead of Holiday Season

The National Retail Federation issued the following statement from Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French after the Trump administration announced it would delay new tariffs on certain consumer products until December 15. Tariffs on other products are scheduled to take effect September 1.

“While we are still reviewing the details, we are pleased the administration is delaying some tariffs ahead of the holiday season and acknowledging the impact on American consumers. Still, uncertainty for U.S. businesses continues, and tariffs taking effect September 1 will result in higher costs for American families and slow the U.S. economy. During this delay period, we urge the administration to...

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Aug 14 8:17 AM, General News


Retail Imports Remain at Near-Record Levels Despite Tariffs

Imports at the nation’s major retail container ports are expected to continue at near-record levels this month and the remainder of the year despite a new round of tariffs on goods from China, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“Even with virtually everything American imports from China soon to be subject to tariffs, it isn’t quick or easy for retailers to change their supply chains,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “That means American families are ultimately going to pay more for goods they can’t do without. And even if sourcing eventually shifts away from China, it will simply come from other countries. It’s time to stop punishing American businesses, workers and families for China’s wrongdoing.”

President Trump announced last week that new 10 percent tariffs on an additional $300 billon in Chinese goods will take effect on September 1. Coupled with 25 percent tariffs imposed on...

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Aug 9 8:31 AM, General News


Retailers Respond to Administration’s Latest Tariff Escalation

The National Retail Federation today issued the following statement from Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French in response to the Trump administration’s plans to impose a 10 percent tariff on $300 billion worth of goods imported from China beginning September 1.

“As we’ve said repeatedly, we support the administration’s goal of restructuring the U.S.-China trade relationship. But we are disappointed the administration is doubling-down on a flawed tariff strategy that is already slowing U.S. economic growth, creating uncertainty and discouraging investment. These additional tariffs will only threaten U.S. jobs and raise costs for American families on everyday goods.

“The tariffs imposed over the past year haven’t worked, and there’s no evidence another tax increase on American businesses and consumers will...

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Aug 2 8:25 AM, General News


Retailers Still Stocking Up Ahead of Possible Tariffs, but More Slowly

Imports at the nation’s major retail container ports will remain at high levels this summer but are expected to grow only modestly compared with last year’s rush to bring merchandise into the country ahead of scheduled tariff increases, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“Retailers still want to protect their customers against potential price increases that would come with any additional tariffs, but with the latest proposed tariffs on hold for now..."

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Jul 10 1:54 PM, General News




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