business news in context, analysis with attitude

Bloomberg’s Matthew Boyle has a piece about what appears to be a retailing renaissance. Here’s how he frames the issue:

“Stellar results from bellwethers Walmart Inc. and Target Corp. have industry analysts asking: Is retail back?

“In truth, retail never went away. Sure, troubled chains like Sears Holdings Corp. and J.C. Penney Co. are cratering, and icons like Toys R Us have disappeared. Sure, Inc. is now grabbing about 50 cents of every dollar spent online, leaving traditional retailers to fight over the rest. And of course, President Donald Trump’s looming China tariffs could upend finely-tuned global supply chains and clobber profits.

“But the headwinds battering retailers in recent months have prompted the best of the bunch -- a group that also includes Nordstrom Inc., Best Buy Co. and Kohl’s Corp. -- to up their game. They’re sprucing up stores, adding more e-commerce delivery options and improving service with better-trained, higher-paid employees. Those efforts have been turbocharged by what Target chief Brian Cornell says is possibly the strongest consumer environment he’s seen in his 37-year career. Unemployment is near record lows, consumer confidence is at a 17-year high and shoppers have their wallets out.”

You can read the entire story, including a section about winners and losers, here.
KC's View: