Where are the retail sales that the Commerce Department allegedly found on Friday’s report?
Commerce reported a 1.3% jump in April, which is the largest monthly gain in a year. I’m going to go out on a limb and say most of the gain could be attributed to soaring gas prices.
Retail sales in April also benefited from an extra weekend as compared with last year.
Certainly the largest retailers such as Macy’s, Nordstrom’s and Wal-Mart don’t see them.
Across the spectrum from payday shopping in Wal-Mart to aspirational shoppers at the other end are not in the stores.
Retail store chains across the economic spectrum are laying off workers, while others are filing chapter 11.
- Macy’s closing 36 stores, laying off at least 5K.
- Sears closing 68 Kmart stores and 10 Sears locations laying off more than 5K
- Nordstrom laying off 700 from corporate offices.
- Wal-Mart closing 269 stores and laying off more than 10K.
This is the tip of the iceberg of announcements this year, when you include retailers filing bankruptcy.
- Aeropostale the teen retailer filed for chapter 11.
- Eastern Mountain Sports and Bob’s Stores filed.
- Sports Authority filed in March.
- Pacific Sunwear beach wear filed in January.
It’s time to scratch your head to figure out where Washington is seeing retail growth on the order of 3 percent.