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NRF Says Economy ‘Being Rebalanced’ but ‘Extreme Cooling Off’ Seems Unlikely

The Federal Reserve faces “a tricky job” in addressing inflation but continuing growth in employment, wages and consumer spending make it unlikely the effort will backfire into a major setback for the economy, National Retail Federation Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said today.

“With changes underway that focus on taming inflation without splintering the economy, the nation’s economic system is in the process of being rebalanced in ways that are testing its resilience,” Kleinhenz said. “This is an extraordinary period with unprecedented factors that include inflation at a..."

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Jun 2 8:00 AM, General News



Sales of Food Preservation and Storage Products Grow by Double-Digits As Consumer Demand Increases

With 86% of meals sourced from home, food inflation at a 40-year high, the average U.S. household wasting $1,866 of food each year*, U.S. consumers are storing food and leftovers to stretch their food dollars and meals while reducing food waste. The return to worksites and schools and more extracurricular and outside activities has increased the need to pack food for away-from-home meals and snacks. These needs drive the demand for food storage products, reports The NPD Group. Consumers spent...

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May 11 8:22 AM, General News


NRF Says Economy Should Continue ‘Bustling Forward’ as Fed Works to Bring Inflation Under Control

The economy’s fast-paced growth could slow somewhat as the Federal Reserve tries to bring inflation under control in the next few months, but consumers are likely to keep on shopping as lower inflation eases uncertainty, National Retail Federation Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said today.

“The Fed’s tightening has kicked off a new cycle of adjustment and the outlook for interest rates has consequences for consumers and businesses alike,” Kleinhenz said. “There is a growing list of uncertainties, and the risks are mounting. But underlying..."

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May 4 8:36 AM, General News


US Restaurant Industry Ends Challenging First Quarter with Customer Traffic Down from A Year Ago

In the first quarter of 2021, the third round of stimulus payments, availability of COVID vaccines and relaxed pandemic restrictions helped increase online and physical visits to U.S. restaurants by 3% compared to the same period a year before, according to The NPD Group. The first quarter of 2022, in contrast, presented a host of headwinds, including higher food and energy costs, for restaurant consumers and restaurants. Challenged by these headwinds and compared to a 3% gain in last year’s first quarter, online and physical...

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Apr 29 7:52 AM, General News


New Acosta Report Finds 40% of Shoppers Buy Plant-Based Products

Acosta, a global integrated sales and marketing services provider in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry, today released its latest research report, Plant-Based Eating: Trend or Fad? The report explores consumers' increased interest in purchasing plant-based meat and dairy alternatives. According to Acosta's research, 40% of today's shoppers buy plant-based meat and/or dairy products, citing health as their key motivating factor.

"Consumers' focus on healthy living increased significantly since the onset of COVID-19," said Kathy Risch, Senior Vice...

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Apr 26 12:57 PM, General News


More Consumers Hunting for Bargains this Easter

Consumers plan to spend an average $169.79 this year on Easter-related items, according to results of the annual survey released today by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. A total of 80 percent of Americans will celebrate the holiday and spend a collective $20.8 billion, down slightly from last year's forecast of $21.6 billion.

“Consumers are eager to return to their pre-pandemic holiday traditions, particularly as it relates to purchasing food and gifts for in-person celebrations this Easter,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay...

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Mar 29 8:00 AM, General News


What Gas Prices Mean for Restaurants

Starting last spring, prices across the board began to rise as sharp increases in demand for goods and labor intertwined with supply chain disruptions. No particular industry, product or service has been spared by rising costs which have been passed along to consumers. The rate of consumer inflation continued to rise to a 7.9% annual increase in February, the largest jump since 1982, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Foodservice menu prices have also been skyrocketing in this environment, driven by higher raw material and labor costs. Despite this, consumers have continued to...

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Mar 29 8:00 AM, General News


February Retail Sales Rose Strongly Year-Over-Year While Monthly Pace Slowed Amid Inflation

Retail sales showed a strong year-over-year gain in February, but the monthly pace slowed compared with January as inflation drove up prices and lingering effects of the COVID-19 omicron variant affected the supply chain, the National Retail Federation said today.

“Retail sales data continues to show impressive consumer resilience,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Despite all that’s been thrown at them including inflation, supply chain constraints, market volatility and significant geopolitical events, consumers remain able and willing to spend... 

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Mar 17 8:00 AM, General News


NRF Forecasts Annual Retail Sales to Grow Between 6 Percent and 8 Percent

The National Retail Federation today issued its annual forecast, anticipating that retail sales will grow between 6 percent and 8 percent to more than $4.86 trillion in 2022. The announcement was made during NRF’s annual State of Retail & the Consumer virtual event where retail industry leaders discussed the strength of the consumer economy and the future of retail.

“NRF expects retail sales to increase in 2022, as consumers are ready to spend and have the resources to do so,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said...

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Mar 16 8:28 AM, General News


National Hot Dog and Sausage Council Reveals Most Popular Hot Dog and Sausage Cities in the U.S.

In 2021, Americans spent more than $7.5 Billion on hot dogs and sausages in U.S. Supermarkets. And thankfully, the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (NHDSC) just announced the American cities that contributed most to those numbers, referencing Nielsen data for total sales and per capita sales from that year.

Los Angeles isn’t just the newest Super Bowl champion, but the city also retained its title as the top dog of total hot dog sales, followed by New York and Dallas...

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Mar 8 8:20 AM, General News


Consumers Pull Back on Purchasing as Retail Prices Remain Elevated, Reports NPD

U.S. consumers have started to pull back on discretionary general merchandise purchases, but average selling prices continue at the pandemic’s elevated levels. Unit sales declined in excess of 8% for six consecutive weeks following the holiday shopping season, when compared to a year ago, according to The NPD Group. Despite higher prices, these unit declines kept retail sales revenue performance marginal, at best. The one exception so far in 2022 has been the pre-Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day week, ending February 12, which saw a...

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Feb 22 9:30 AM, General News


January Retail Sales Overcome Omicron and Inflation to Show Strong Gains

Retail sales powered through COVID-19’s omicron variant, inflation and other challenges to post strong increases in January, the National Retail Federation said today.

“January’s numbers show that 2022 is starting very strong for consumers and retailers, especially on the heels of a record holiday season and record sales in 2021,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “While the year ahead has challenges with inflationary pressures, labor shortages, COVID-19 impacts and uncertainty related to international tensions in Russia and China, today’s numbers show that despite these..."

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Feb 17 8:01 AM, General News


Fourth Quarter 2021 Revenue Grew 9% Over Last Year, While Overall Consumer Spending Grew 15%

U.S. consumer spending on general merchandise ended the year up 15% compared to 2020, with a 6% increase in unit sales. While the holiday shopping brought positive retail results, the early part of the year delivered more significant year-over-year gains. The fourth quarter of 2021 contributed 9% revenue growth and 1% unit growth over the prior year, according The NPD Group.

“Consumers’ grab-it-when-you-see-it mentality, especially related to pandemic-driven needs has not gone away..."

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Jan 25 8:06 AM, General News


Rising Inflation, Relentless Pandemic Dampen U.S. Consumer Confidence

U.S. consumer confidence dropped to a nine-month low in November amid worries about the rising cost of living and pandemic fatigue, but that did not change expectations for stronger economic growth this quarter.

The survey from the Conference Board on Tuesday showed consumers less enthusiastic about buying a house and big-ticket items such as motor vehicles and major household appliances over the next six months, likely because of shortages, which have boosted prices. Consumers held strong views of the labor market, with the gap between those saying jobs are plentiful...

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Dec 1 8:36 AM, General News


In-store Retail Sales Rise to Pre-pandemic Levels, as E-Commerce Growth Slows, Reports NPD

The steady, gradual growth of e-commerce dramatically accelerated during the pandemic, elevating the amount consumers spent shopping online to almost equal the amount consumers spent in stores. Now, with brick-and-mortar stores open across the U.S., online revenue growth is slowing down. At the same time, physical store sales have increased, rising to 64% of all retail sales in September 2021, according to The NPD Group.

“Physical stores are more relevant today than they were before the pandemic,” said Marshal Cohen... 

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Nov 29 1:57 PM, General News


October Retail Sales Grew as Consumers Got an Early Start on Holiday Shopping

Retail sales rose in October as many consumers began holiday shopping early to avoid any shortages amid pandemic-driven supply chain disruptions that are dominating businesses and shoppers this holiday season, the National Retail Federation said today.

“Retail sales data for October reflects the enduring strength of consumers’ finances and willingness to spend as the holiday season gets underway,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “The robust balance sheets of American households are being met by retailer preparation and hard work to provide products that consumers...

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Nov 17 8:00 AM, General News


A Record Percentage of Americans to Host Thanksgiving Dinner This Year, Spending $392 on Average

Thanksgiving 2020 is a blur for many families who decided to scale things back or cancel the holiday altogether because of the coronavirus pandemic. But this year, Turkey Day is poised to make a comeback — a record percentage of Americans plan to host the holiday, according to LendingTree's latest survey of more than 2,000 Americans.

Key findings

- A record percentage of Americans plan to host Thanksgiving dinner this year. Nearly half — 47% — expect guests, up from 41% in 2020 and 33% in 2019... 

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Nov 16 9:04 AM, General News


Tyson Foods Continues Growth of Wright® and Jimmy Dean ® Brands with Investment in Kentucky

Tyson Foods will invest $355 million to build a state-of-the-art bacon plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky, company officials announced today. The project is part of Tyson’s commitment to meet increasing retail and foodservice demand for bacon products to deliver against its strategy of accelerating long-term growth aligned to consumer trends. The new facility is expected to create 450 jobs with production beginning in late 2023.

“We are excited to be a part of the Warren County and Kentucky..."

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Oct 29 8:52 AM, General News


Giant Food Partners with Flashfood on Pilot Program

Giant Food, the leading greater Washington, D.C. regional food retailer, today announced a collaboration with Flashfood, a digital marketplace providing customers access to heavily discounted food nearing its best-by date. Initially available at three select Giant stores in Maryland and Virginia, this pilot program continues the expansion of Flashfood's partnership with Giant's parent company, Ahold Delhaize USA and its regional store brands.

The Flashfood app enables customers to browse deals on fresh items like meat, produce boxes, dairy and bakery items, as well as center-store foods...

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Oct 28 8:00 AM, General News


Albertsons Sees More Inflation

Albertsons Cos. projected higher inflation for the rest of the year, driven by higher supply-chain and labor costs across the food industry.

The Boise, Idaho-based supermarket chain is passing through some price increases to shoppers but said it is also offering cheaper alternatives. Executives said consumers are still spending heavily on groceries as they stay at home and cook more than they did before the pandemic.

"We have not seen material change in customer behavior," Chief Executive Officer Vivek Sankaran said Monday during a call with analysts.

Food companies say they have been...

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Oct 19 9:02 AM, General News


September Retail Sales Grew as Delta Variant Favored Spending on Goods Over Services

Retail sales increased again in September as worries about the COVID-19 delta variant pushed consumer spending toward merchandise rather than services like dining, entertainment or travel despite supply chain disruptions and inflation, the National Retail Federation said today.

“Today’s retail sales data confirms the sheer power of the consumer to spend, and we expect this to continue,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Despite persistent challenges related to the global pandemic, supply chain and labor shortages, retailers and their partners have shown resilience..."

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Oct 18 8:53 AM, General News


Retail Sales Rise, Showing Strong Consumer Demand and Higher Inflation

Americans stepped up their spending in September, a sign of resilient demand and rising inflation as consumers head into the holiday shopping season.

Sales at retail stores, restaurants and online sellers rose a seasonally adjusted 0.7% in September from the previous month, the Commerce Department said Friday. The rise in sales reflects persistently strong demand and higher consumer prices.

Consumers, armed with stimulus payments and rising wages, have stepped up spending this year, shrugging off the Delta variant of Covid-19, the end of enhanced unemployment benefits and... 

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Oct 18 7:56 AM, General News


NRF Economist: ‘Watch What Consumers Do, Not What They Say’ as Recovery Continues

Despite falling consumer confidence numbers amid the recent rise in COVID-19 infections, shoppers are continuing to spend, National Retail Federation Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said today.

“With consumer spending accounting for roughly two-thirds of U.S. gross domestic product, all eyes are closely watching shoppers’ ability to drive the economy,” Kleinhenz said. “If consumer finances are any indication, there’s reason to be optimistic: Households remain in good shape, with consumers in the aggregate actually underspending relative to current income. Even though enhanced unemployment benefits have expired..."

 

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Oct 4 8:03 AM, General News


Halloween Spending Soars as Celebrations Near Pre-Pandemic Levels

Consumer spending on Halloween-related items is expected to reach an all-time high of $10.14 billion, up from $8.05 billion in 2020, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics. Plans to celebrate Halloween are up this year compared with last and are close to pre-pandemic levels.

“Americans plan to spend more than ever to make this Halloween a memorable one,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Retailers have implemented a number of measures, such as bringing in Halloween..."

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Sep 24 8:00 AM, General News


August Retail Sales Rise Despite 'Trifecta of Macroeconomic Headwinds'

Retail sales increased during August as consumer demand outweighed the pandemic, supply chain disruptions and other factors affecting spending, the National Retail Federation said today.

“The increase in August retail sales reflects the continued strength of the American consumer and the resilience of our nation’s retailers,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “In spite of the ongoing challenges of the global pandemic, concerns about the delta variant, and supply chain and workforce constraints, the retail industry continues to do what it does best – serve customers and support communities..."

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Sep 17 8:44 AM, General News


The Pandemic Lifted Average Retail Spending Per Shopping Occasion, Reports NPD

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in the average amount U.S. consumers spend on each shopping occasion, whether it is a trip to a physical store or a visit to an online shopping site. Since reaching $34 in March of 2020, average shopping occasion spending has remained elevated at or above that amount through July 2021, according to The NPD Group. This increase is partially due to a general shift toward online purchasing, where average selling prices (ASPs) and the amount spent on each transaction...

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Sep 15 8:32 AM, General News


Labor Market Will Play a Role in Economic Outlook but Rising Wages Could Lead to More Inflation

Strong consumer spending over the past year has been boosted by government stimulus programs but will rely more on the labor market and job creation as the benefits of those efforts subside, National Retail Federation Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said today. Meanwhile, higher wages that employers have had to pay as they struggle to fill job openings could lead to more inflation in coming months.

“Consumer spending is currently far above pre-pandemic levels thanks to unprecedented monetary and fiscal policies that have backstopped demand by putting money into...

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Sep 2 8:42 AM, General News


Consumers Are Accessorizing Amplified Grilling and Outdoor Cooking Needs in 2021

After taking grilling to new levels last year, consumers now seem to be adapting to the growing needs of accessorizing their outdoor cooking activities. Between January and June 2021, consumer spending on grilling accessories consistently outperformed last year’s numbers, delivering a 28% increase in sales revenue, according to The NPD Group.

“The pandemic compelled consumers to spend on grilling and outdoor cooking, as a way to gather safely, create new experiences with family, and even learn new skills, during...

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Aug 23 8:31 AM, General News


Consumer Confidence Relatively Unchanged in July

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index was relatively unchanged in July, following gains in each of the prior five months. The Index now stands at 129.1 (1985=100), up from 128.9 in June. The Present Situation Index—based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions—rose from 159.6 to 160.3. The Expectations Index—based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business, and labor market conditions—was virtually unchanged at 108.4, compared to 108.5 last month.

Consumer confidence was flat in July but remains at its highest level since February 2020 (132.6),” said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers’ appraisal of present-day conditions held steady, suggesting...

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Jul 28 8:24 AM, General News


Consumer Confidence Improved Further in June 

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index® improved further in June, following gains in each of the previous four months. The Index now stands at 127.3 (1985=100), up from 120.0 (an upward revision) in May. The Present Situation Index—based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions—rose from 148.7 to 157.7. The Expectations Index—based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business, and labor market conditions—improved to 107.0, up from 100.9 last month.

“Consumer confidence increased in June and is currently at its highest level since the onset of the pandemic’s first surge in March 2020,” said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers’ assessment of current conditions...

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Jun 30 8:18 AM, General News







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