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The Week Ahead: Fancy Food Show, Retail sales, Amazon layoffs begin

Here is the commerce news to watch for Jan. 16-20.

The Week Ahead: Fancy Food Show, Retail sales, Amazon layoffs begin
The Week Ahead: CES, Jobs report, Conagra and Helen of Troy earnings
The Week Ahead: CES, Jobs report, Conagra and Helen of Troy earnings

Welcome to a new week. We’re going to get a big piece of the puzzle to help determine the results of the 2022 holiday season when U.S. retail sales data is reported by the Commerce Department. The industry calendar is also busy with the NRF Big Show in New York and Winter Fancy Food Show in Las Vegas. Plus, Procter & Gamble's earnings call will be a bellwether for Q4.

Events

NRF Big Show: Retailers gather in New York for the National Retail Federation’s kickoff to the year. CEOs and top leaders from Walmart, Target, Macy’s, Lowe’s, Express and Neiman Marcus will headline a host of speakers throughout keynote sessions and breakouts. Plus, an expo features innovation and technology trends coming to the industry. (Jan. 14-17)

Winter Fancy Food Show: The Specialty Food Association presents three days of discovery, sampling, trendspotting, and networking for makers, buyers, retailers, brokers, distributors, and other industry professionals in Las Vegas. (Jan. 15-17)

Economic indicators

U.S. retail sales: The U.S. Commerce Department reports data on retail sales of all types for December. This will include a good chunk of the holiday spending, allowing analysts to combine it with November figures for a picture of the overall peak season. (Jan. 18, 8:30 a.m.)

Retail inventories: The U.S. Commerce Department releases data on inventory levels for the retail trade. This has been watched closely at a time when many retailers are looking to work out of a glut of merchandise caused by supply chain issues and forecasting. (Jan. 18, 10 a.m.)

Producer Price Index: The U.S. Commerce Department releases inflation data for December on the price of goods before they reach retail. Also known as wholesale inflation, this is considered a forward-looking measure. (Jan. 18, 8:30 a.m.)

Housing starts + Existing home sales: The U.S. Commerce Department will reveal data that is carefully monitored by the housing industry, including home retailers. (Jan. 19-20)

Earnings

Tuesday, Jan. 17: Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs

Thursday, Jan. 19: Procter & Gamble, Netflix

​Company news

Amazon layoffs are set to begin on Wednesday, Jan. 18. CEO Andy Jassy previously shared that the company will lay off 18,000 people to begin the calendar year as it seeks to cut costs. The layoffs will primarily affect the company’s commerce division, as well as people operations.

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Retail imports to fall near 2020 levels in February

NRF's Global Port Tracker sees a slowdown in the supply chain in 2023 as retailers exercise caution.

cargo ships docked at the pier during day
Photo by Andy Li on Unsplash

Import volumes are expected to fall near levels not seen since the pandemic-induced economic slowdown of 2020 this winter, according to a new forecast.

February is forecast to be the slowest month for retail imports since May 2020, when factories in Asia shut down and stores closed to protect health and safety, according to the Global Port Tracker from the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates. Only February and March 2020 saw lower numbers.

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