Gauge on retail sales flat


U.S. retail sales stalled in April after a sharp advance in March when pandemic-relief checks provided millions of Americans with increased spending power.

The value of overall retail purchases was essentially unchanged last month after an upwardly revised 10.7% gain in March that was the second-largest in records back to 1992, Commerce Department figures showed Friday.

The total value of retail sales was a record $619.9 billion in April.

While consumers may begin to shift more of their spending to services such as entertainment and travel as pandemic fears dissipate, elevated savings supported by fiscal stimulus should help underpin retail demand.

The question is whether consumers will continue to spend without stimulus checks. “The April retail sales tip the odds toward slower sales in the coming months,” said analysts at Contingent Macro Advisors.

[CORONAVIRUS: Click here for our complete coverage » arkansasonline.com/coronavirus]

Friday’s report comes amid other signs the economy is improving as vaccinations accelerate and business restrictions are relaxed. The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to 473,000, a new pandemic low. And consumer confidence hit its highest level last month since the pandemic began.

On Thursday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said vaccinated Americans don’t need to wear a mask or social-distance outdoors and in most indoor settings, which may get more people to travel, eat out or shop.

Consumer spending, which makes up two-thirds of all economic activity in the U.S., is closely monitored by economists to gauge the nation’s economic health. Friday’s report covers a third of all consumer spending but doesn’t include services, like hotel stays or haircuts.

Eight of 13 retail categories registered declines in April sales, with the largest percentage decrease at clothing stores, which fell 5.1% after a 22.7% surge in March.

Sales at non-store retailers, which include e-commerce, fell 0.6% in April. General merchandise store sales fell 4.9% and the value of purchases at sporting goods outlets dropped 3.6%.

The value of restaurant receipts rose 3% after a 13.5% March gain as states across the country eased restrictions on indoor dining capacity.

Sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers climbed 2.9% in April, even as automakers faced production constraints due to the global semiconductor shortage.

So-called control group sales, which exclude more volatile categories including food services, car dealers and gasoline stations, dropped 1.5% in April after an upwardly revised 7.6% jump in March.

The pandemic substantially reshaped consumer behavior. Grocery store spending surged during the pandemic while restaurant revenue dropped. Apparel sales plunged as Americans canceled events, and spending on outdoor activities and home improvements soared. As vaccinations have picked up and warmer weather has taken hold, the retail industry has been waiting to see if spending will revert to its prepandemic levels.

The Easton Town Center, a popular open-air shopping center in Ohio, has been getting “close” to 2019 levels of foot traffic, though bad weather in April dampened some of its momentum, said Jennifer Peterson, the center’s chief executive. She said the center was planning to create summer attractions like a “prosecco plaza” and resuming events like concerts and movie nights with new adjustments like social distancing and masks.

“We’re thinking of this summer as kind of a relaunch of Easton, knowing that the pandemic has really put people’s mindsets in a different place,” Peterson said. “We want to bring them back with joyful activities.”

Retailers will continue to walk a tightrope in the coming months as they work to attract shoppers while creating a safe environment. The latest wrinkle came Thursday with the CDC’s new guidance for masks, saying that it is safe for fully vaccinated people to remove face coverings in most indoor settings.

Retailers, from individual chains to shopping centers, are still reviewing that guidance and figuring out what it could mean for employees and customers. The CDC’s declaration does not override mask orders from states, counties or cities. The United Food and Commercial Workers union, which represents thousands of grocery store workers, called the guidance “confusing” and said it failed to consider employees who regularly interact with unvaccinated, unmasked customers.

Information for this article was contributed by Olivia Rockeman of Bloomberg News (WPNS), by Joseph Pisani of The Associated Press and by Sapna Maheshwari of The New York Times.



Source link

Retail sales were flat in April as stimulus spending waned


NEW YORK (AP) — Retail sales in the U.S. were flat in April after soaring in March, when many Americans received $1,400 stimulus checks that boosted spending.

The report Friday from the U.S. Commerce Department was worse than the 0.8% rise Wall Street analysts had expected. But it wasn’t all bad: March’s number was revised upwards to 10.7%. Americans started receiving a third round of stimulus checks that month, helping retail sales soar.

The question is whether consumers will continue to spend without stimulus checks. “The April retail sales tip the odds toward slower sales in the coming months,” said analysts at Contingent Macro Advisors.

Friday’s report comes amid other signs the economy is improving as vaccinations accelerate and business restrictions are relaxed. The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to 473,000, a new pandemic low. And consumer confidence hit its highest level last month since the pandemic began.

On Thursday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said vaccinated Americans don’t need to wear a mask or social distance outdoors and in most indoor settings, which may get more people to travel, eat out or shop.

Consumer spending, which makes up two-thirds of all economic activity in the U.S., is closely monitored by economists to gauge the nation’s economic health. Friday’s report covers a third of all consumer spending, but doesn’t include services, like hotel stays or haircuts.

The report on Friday suggests Americans were heading out last month to eat instead of shop. Sales at restaurants and bars rose 3%. But sales fell at stores that sell clothing, sporting goods and furniture.



Source link

Traxo Tabs Butler to Lead Global Sales


Off-channel booking capture provider Traxo has named former Upside Business Travel head of commercial sales Brian Butler to the newly created role of chief sales officer. Based in Washington, D.C., Butler will oversee Traxo’s global sales activities, including the company’s growing network of partnerships with other travel providers, and reports to Traxo CEO Andris Fabris. 

Butler has nearly two decades of experience leading sales, supplier relations and customer success functions at travel providers including Upside, Hertz and corporate travel management companies Radius and Adtrav. He most recently served as vice president of sales for marketing intelligence startup SalesIntel.

Traxo said it created the new role due to a “surge in demand” for the company’s off-channel booking capture solutions in light of an increased emphasis on corporate duty-of-care responsibilities as business travel returns amid Covid-19. 



Source link

Consumer News: Gun sales hit new record, High travel demand leading to raised prices and more!


CNN– Gun sales are hitting new record highs. The FBI says they conducted more than 3.5 million gun related background checks in April. That marks a 20% increase over the same period in 2020. The National Shooting Sports Foundation says more guns were sold last month than any April on record. The reason for the spike? It’s thought to be fueled by fears of more gun control legislation and rising crime rates.

Face masks will be required for U.S. travelers until at least September 13. Last Friday, the Transportation Security Administration extended a mask mandate that was set to expire next month. The rule has been in effect since February 2. Since then, the TSA says its received reports of about 2,000 people violating the mandate.

Speaking of travel, experts say a record number of people are gearing up to go on vacation or visit their loved ones, but that demand is now raising prices whether you’re traveling on the road or in the skies. Mandy Gaither has details.





Source link

US travel agency air ticket sales still in the red


  • US travel agency seven-day air ticket volume and other variances ending February 28, 2021
  • These totals represent sales generated by U.S. travel agencies and processed through the ARC settlement system
  • Results are based on weekly sales data ending February 28, 2021, from 11,089 U.S. retail and corporate travel agency locations, and online travel agencies

Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) today reported the following consolidated airline ticketing volume variances, compared to the same period in 2019. These totals represent sales generated by U.S. travel agencies* and processed through the ARC settlement system. Data figures are for the seven days ending February 28, 2021.

Tickets Issued for All Itineraries:

  7-Day Period Ending Ticket Variance
 vs. Same Week 2019
 Sales Variance
vs. Same Week 2019
February 7 -66.9% -81.5%
February 14 -66.5% -81.0%
February 21 -64.0% -79.9%
February 28 -58.9% -76.1%
52-Week Average** -73.4% -83.6%

Variances in Tickets Sold by Segment for All Itineraries:

7-Day Period Ending Corporate Online Leisure/Other
February 7 -86.1% -50.3% -70.1%
February 14 -85.7% -50.9% -69.2%
February 21 -84.7% -46.4% -67.8%
February 28 -83.0% -40.4% -62.9%
52-Week Average** -87.0% -62.6%  -75.0%

*Notes

  • Results are based on weekly sales data ending February 28, 2021, from 11,089 U.S. retail and corporate travel agency locations, and online travel agencies. Results do not include sales of tickets purchased directly from airlines and are not net of refunds or exchanges.
  • Total sales are equal to the total amount paid for a ticket, which includes taxes and fees.

**Additional Notes

The 52-week rolling average is the average ticketing volume and other variances over the last 52 weeks, ending with the most recent week, compared to the 2019 baseline numbers.



Source link

5 ways to maximize Southwest sales





TPG expert tip: 5 ways to maximize Southwest sales











Advertiser Disclosure



Many of the credit card offers that appear on the website are from credit card companies from which ThePointsGuy.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. Please view our advertising policy page for more information.

Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.



Source link