New York—As it has in almost every media outlet, the U.S. government shutdown—and the impending deadline for the debt ceiling—dominated news this week. And for good reason, the economic repercussions of Washington’s gridlock is worrying already worried retailers who fear further erosion of consumer confidence just when holiday sales should start hitting stride.
Unfortunately, less confident shoppers will be more price-conscious than usual, leading to an increase in comparison shopping and a decline in overall retail revenue.
A glimmer of hope, however, has emerged. President Barack Obama and House Republicans appear today to be in serious talks about how to end the budget standoff.
Seeking to shrug off some recent press that sent its shared downward, JCPenney made a rare public report on its financial situation. The department store said it narrowed a comp store decline last month and saw improvement in online sales, too.
“Over the last six months, we have made significant strides and are now seeing positive signs in many important areas of the business, in spite of what continues to be a difficult environment for consumers and retailers in general,” said CEO Myron “Mike” Ullman.
Hence, this week’s list of the 10 online articles that should be on everyone’s must-read list: