Retail Sales Flat in September
Retail sales were flat in September after unexpectedly rising an upwardly revised 0.4% in August. Retail sales were up 7.8% year over year. Core retail sales, which exclude automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, rose 0.4% in September after rising an upwardly revised 0.2% in August. Sales at building material and garden equipment retailers decreased 0.4%. The retail sales report covers about a third of overall consumer spending and doesn't include services, such as travel and entertainment. Core retail sales correspond most closely with the consumer spending component of GDP.
The Home Depot
THD launched PathtoPro.com, a new jobseeker marketplace created to connect skilled tradespeople to hiring trades professionals in the construction and home improvement industries.
According to a new survey conducted by THD in partnership with Morning Consult, half of trades professionals (50%) say that the difficulty of determining whether an applicant is qualified for a job is an obstacle to hiring.
Skilled trades jobseekers can connect with Pros in their area looking to hire talent by visiting PathtoPro.com to create a profile, upload their resume and add photos of their work. To help jobseekers showcase their skills, the Path to Pro Network features skill badges that indicate if someone has accredited training, is a US military veteran or has graduated from THDs free trades training program. PathtoPro.com is part of THD’s broader Path to Pro program launched last year.
CEO Marvin Ellison was given the 2022 ELC Achievement Award from the Executive Leadership Council (ELC), the international membership organization for Black CEOs, senior executives, board members, and top-tier entrepreneurs. The award is given to Black executives whose career achievements demonstrate personal and professional excellence. The nonprofit looks to increase the number of Black executives in C-suites and on corporate boards. Ellison is one of six Black CEOs who currently run Fortune 500 companies and the only black CEO who has run more than one Fortune 500 company. He had previously served as chairman and CEO of JCPenney.
Lowe’s Black Friday month omnichannel savings started Oct. 27 and will continue throughout the month of November. Black Friday month will feature promotions and discounts across many categories, including appliances, smart home, power tools and holiday décor. Customers can also shop and discover a wide range of items in Lowe’s Gift Zone, which features thousands of curated gift ideas for recipient categories such as “pro,” “pet parent” and “the green thumb.”
Lowe's is enhancing the benefits of using their One Roof Media Network, a retail media service designed to provide a portfolio of omnichannel advertising services that they launched in October 2021. The platform includes data-driven insights integrated with analysis of consumer behaviors and home category trends, as well as customized advertising products. Now, Lowe’s is collaborating with Yahoo to offer brands participating in One Roof Media new opportunities to connect with consumers through personalized, omnichannel experiences beyond their owned and operated platforms, as well as the ability to drive in-depth campaign measurement and sales attribution metrics.
Lowe’s believes that product user guides are obsolete. They refuse to print user guides for any products; management thinks that if you have to write a user manual or instructions, the product has not been properly designed.
Walmart has subleased space in Amazon’s backyard, further increasing their workforce in the Seattle area. Walmart is growing their Seattle-area Global Tech team after quietly entering the region last year with about 160 employees. Now Walmart’s Global Tech team has more than 200 employees throughout the Puget Sound region. Walmart's creep into the Seattle area isn't a surprise as it’s easier to hunt for tech talent in Amazon’s backyard. Seattle-based Amazon, which dominates the US online retail market, accounted for more than 41% of the market's sales in 2021 compared with Walmart's 6.6%, according to a report from eMarketer. Both of their market shares are up this year, from 38.7% and 5.3%, respectively, in 2020. Walmart is widely regarded as Amazon’s closest competitor.
Amazon’s Q3 sales rose 15% to $127.1 billion, right in the middle of the company's forecasted range of $125 million to $130 million. North American sales were up 20%; international sales were down 5%, but up 12% adjusted for foreign exchange rates. Amazon Web Services (AWS) revenues were up 27%, well below the 32% growth analysts had expected. AWS grew 28% adjusted for currency. Amazon’s worldwide shipping costs grew 10% in the third quarter to $19.9 billion.
Amazon lowered their forecast for holiday spending and the fourth quarter, saying that consumers were cutting back on expenditures and tightening their belts and they were going to do likewise. Amazon forecast net sales of between $140 billion and $148 billion, which would be growth of as little as 2% from a year earlier. Analysts were expecting $155.2 billion. Previous final quarter sales growth was 9% in 2021 and 38% in 2020.
Amazon is putting the continuing testing rollout of Scout, their automated delivery robot, on hold and says they need to reevaluate the program. Scout is the size of a small cooler and can navigate around anything in its path, from pets and pedestrians to large objects like surfboards, luggage, refrigerators and Christmas trees. While Scout can autonomously follow its delivery route, in test markets it was accompanied by an Amazon Scout ambassador.
Amazon will lease 10 Airbus A330-300 converted freighters and outsource flying and maintenance to Hawaiian Airlines. The deal gives Amazon a potential ownership stake in Hawaiian. The Airbuses, which are capable of long, transatlantic flights, will initially service the US domestic market. The 10 airframes will be converted from passenger aircraft to freighters with a high cargo capacity. Amazon reportedly has been in the market for large freighters for more than a year to directly control intercontinental shipments from China that are currently moved by third-party ocean and air cargo carriers.
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