Major department stores could be seeing early signs of holiday cheer with foot traffic pushing higher than in 2019.
Kohl’s, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s and J.C. Penney saw foot traffic rebound in October after a two-month slide when the coronavirus delta variant surged, according to data from Silicon Valley-based Placer Labs. Placer analyzes anonymous mobile phone data from location services to track consumer patterns.
Foot traffic had been rising into the summer, with Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus doing better than 2019 while the others still trail 2019 even though they are improving.
Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus, all three at the higher pricing end of the retail market, were the only ones that had better foot traffic than 2019 in October. Bloomingdale’s was the top performer, with foot traffic 5.8% higher than 2019.
Kohl’s had the best month-to-month gain with a 17.2% increase from September to October.
“The combination of pent-up demand for the holiday retail season, declining COVID cases, limitations on international travel, and the success of this past back-to-school season all speak to the potential for a big season,” Placer said on its blog.
Consumer Confidence Drops
Consumer confidence dropped to the lowest point in a decade, according to a closely watched survey.
The University of Michigan’s November preliminary reading with its Consumer Sentiment Index fell to 66.8 from October’s final reading of 71.7. In April, the reading was at 88.3.
Though it’s a November reading, the survey is done in the final days of October. Such a drop in confidence contradicts a monthly index released by The Conference Board two weeks ago showing a rise in consumer confidence.
The University of Michigan’s final number is expected to come out Nov. 24, the day before Thanksgiving.
Its report breaks down sentiment by political affiliation. There was small drop among Democrats and a slight increase among independents. But the mood soured among Republicans considerably, with a 17-point drop to 37.2, the lowest since the survey began in 1980.
Deal to Sell Trump DC Hotel
Former President Donald Trump's family company reportedly has struck a deal to sell the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., to a Miami investment firm.
As expected, CGI Merchant Group has agreed to pay $375 million for the hotel that is in the Old Post Office near the White House, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the deal. Details of the deal emerged a month ago.
At the time, CGI was talking with Hilton Worldwide Holdings’ Waldorf brand about taking over management. That agreement has been finalized and means Trump’s name will come off the hotel, according to the report. Chris Nassetta, Hilton’s chief executive officer, is on CoStar Group’s board.
The hotel operation has a lease with the federal government that can extend for as long as 100 years. It opened before Trump’s election in 2016 and raised ethical concerns while he was president, prompting an investigation by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.
Quitting Jobs Hits New High
People quitting their jobs hit a fresh record as the number of job openings remains high.
The Labor Department reported Friday that 4.4 million people quit their jobs in September, beating the previous record set in August by roughly 100,000.
September was a disappointing jobs growth month and then rebounded in October to beat expectations.
The number of jobs listings in September decreased some from 10.6 million to 10.4 million. Job listings in health care and social assistance increased the most with a gain of 141,000 while state and local government education fell the most.