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Cause for Economic Optimism This Memorial Day Weekend

There's cause for both some economic optimism & future concerns, as Burt Flickinger discussed a special, worldwide Memorial Day broadcast edition of Bloomberg Daybreak with John Tucker, given a record number of weddings this weekend and AAA reporting more than 39 million traveling. Cautious, conservative common-sense consumers are cutting back on big-ticket items but spending on affordable luxuries: gifts for family and friends, and spending for what they need rather than impulse purchases.

The Bloomberg Terminal shows sectors & stocks with top-rated momentum in Agriculture & Energy, with Apparel at the “bottom of the basement” & more people spending on experiences like parties. However, for the first time in 14 years there are no “safe harbors” in retail anymore, with food, big box and category dominant retailers (Apparel, Pet, Home, Sporting Goods, etc.) facing challenges. In Luxury, Nordstrom is doing okay while Hermes stock is down significantly and H&M Fast Casual being pounded. Amazon will do much better with its “hard rudder right turn” into Fashion than it is doing with Food thanks to higher profit margins & significant consumer demand as it opens its first physical clothing store in Los Angeles with model & stylist Heidi Klum.

Also: We are going through the denouement of the Retail Ice Age, where America evolved from 400% over stored a decade ago to 140% over stored going into Covid, and will be about 115% overstored by next year as we go through a modest recession.

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