Black Friday, a worrisome sign for an economy that has so far depended on the US consumer to stave off a recession. In the three months ahead of the all-important holiday shopping season, a group of retailers that cater to the upper middle class — including Apple, Coach and Nordstrom — saw its biggest sales drop in two years, according to an exclusive analysis of Bloomberg Second Measure data. The malaise also hit top-performing malls in wealthier areas, even as overall retail-sales figures march higher.
Also Read | How Work From Home Has Reshaped What Americans Buy Despite record interest rates and soaring inflation, the upper middle class “had been driving a lot of the stronger-than-expected spending," says Kayla Bruun, a senior economist for Morning Consult, a survey research firm. Now, people with at least $100,000 in household income are starting to become more frugal, she says. On Tuesday, Best Buy Co.
and Lowe’s Cos. cut their forecasts and warned that shoppers were pulling back on big-ticket items like appliances ahead of the holiday season. Kohl’s Corp.
reported its seventh-straight drop in comparable sales, as a partnership with Sephora drew in customers but didn’t spur them to spend more money on other items at the department stores. Even positive results at some retailers left investors wanting more as shares slumped at Abercrombie & Fitch Co. and American Eagle Outfitters Inc.Read more on livemint.com