November 26, 2018 - Today's Pickup: Shopping season off to good start as U.S. consumers look to spend

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Detroit tops list of places for online retail start-ups; climate change seen having a major impact on U.S. infrastructure.

Good day,

Amid uncertain activity in trade, home construction and business spending, one pillar of the U.S. economy, consumer spending, appears to be holding steady. Official estimates for Black Friday retail sales will not be released until Tuesday, but the early indications are that shoppers are not holding back. ShopperTrak, which tracks retail visits, saw a 1% decline in retail foot traffic during Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Some decline is expected as shoppers continue to migrate to online retail, but the decline is “consistent with data results over the last several years,” it added. Overall, ShopperTrak says that based on the traffic data, “retailers are in for a successful holiday season,” especially as there is one more Saturday for shopping until Christmas. Walmart’s (NYSE: WMT) first read on holiday shipping was that “traffic was steady all night.”  Macy’s (NYSE: M) Chief Executive Jeff Gennette says the retailer had a “strong start” to the holiday shopping season.

Did you know?

Thinking of starting an online business? Think Detroit. Sellics, an online shopping analytics firm, says the Motor City tops its charts for fledgling entrepreneurs due to low start-up costs. It says a Detroit resident would need to amass $31,000 in savings to start an online business. As for New York City, fuhgeddaboudit as you would need $64,000 to start up an online retailer.

Quotable:

“More people have already shopped than at this point last year, and their average spend is higher.”

- Neil Saunders, a managing director at GlobalData Retail, on preliminary holiday shopping estimates.

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