December retail sales were down .4% (excluding cars, food and fuel), which freaked some folks out today.
Ya I know. However the government numbers increasingly suck in my opinion (are not correct) through some failure of the eggheads to measure important things correctly. THe fear of course is that this is not just incompetence but is politics too. Also, something very big is happening undetected. Not sure what is yet, but first guess is that is has something to do with the new medical economy.
I share your belief that we are on the cusp of seeing a fundamental shift in brick and mortar retailing. Part of it is due to the internet, of course. But there are other important factors at play also.
yep, and that would be a good topic for another thread. I dont think it makes sense to get too far into the changing flavor of retail on a US ECONOMY thread, but it is a fascinating subject.
I think that a lot of folks who had disposable income decided against buying more stuff that they didn't need and opted instead to save for a new(er) car or things like a treat such as dining out.
strategic buying of stuff and buying experiences. Did you notice that the Disney theme parks had a great season? The cruise lines are doing a decent job of filling all that new space with profitable customers too from what I can see, though they have resorted to some price trickery to pull the decent number of dollars out of peoples pockets. The high price point restaurants are doing great. Chipotle keeps rolling along with their high price point, having just stuffed down a big menu price increase, selling what they call ethical food at a huge premium over what other places charge and people continue to fall all over themselves to pay it.