Week in Review: Must-Know News


The NPD Group reported this week that “brand names” may be playing a more important role this year as women shop for shoes.

New York—Some Wall Street analysts referred to it as a “frat boy fight” this week when William Ackman, the hedge fund founder and largest shareholder in JCPenney, resigned from the board of directors after a very public dispute. Now JCPenney—which reports its second quarter next week—can devote energies to the pressing issue of turning its business.

However, JCPenney isn’t the only retailer concerned about its business for back to school, even holiday. Citing a pullback in discretionary spending by its customers, Walmart lowered its profit expectations for the year. Surprisingly, Macy’s Inc., too, scaled back its full year forecast for similar reasons. Even sourcing giant Li & Fung blamed a slowdown by its U.S. customers as a primary reason for its dismal first half results

Apparel, Accessories Sales Up for July

Not that there weren’t any bright spots this week. Clothing and accessories sales edged up in July leading other merchandise categories tracked by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Since July sales are typically among the lowest of the year that bodes well for back to school sales and beyond, believe some analysts.

Said Michael Brown, economist at Wells Fargo Securities LLC: “We’re seeing sales pick up in multiple categories—that’s a promising sign that consumer spending might be a little bit stronger in the third quarter.”

The Controversial William Ackman Leaves JCPenney’s Board

Macy’s Inc. Lowers Full Year Outlook on Disappointing Q2 Results

Commerce Dept: July Retail Increases The Largest Since December 2012

Lower Costs Ease Dillard’s into Better-Than-Expected Q2 Profit

Kohl’s Q2 Results Match Expectations; Increases Full Year Outlook

Walmart Cuts Full Year Profit Forecast as Shoppers Cut Back

NPD: Footwear Shoppers’ Priorities Change for 2013

Li & Fung First Half Profit Falls 70% with “Sluggish” U.S. Market

Even Wealthy Shoppers Like Reward Programs, Study Finds

Asia to Account for More Than 50% of Luxury Market in 10 Years


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