This Week in Commerce: NRF Big Show review; Colgate, J&J earnings

Here's a look at the week ahead for Jan. 23-27.

NRF Big Show

Inside the NRF Big Show. (Photo by The Current)

Welcome to a new week. We’ve got a quick look back at the NRF Big Show to kick things off. Then, this week brings plenty of opportunities to gain insight into the state of the consumer. Colgate Palmolive, Johnson & Johnson, Kimberly-Clark and Levi Strauss will report earnings. Meanwhile, new economic data will offer a look at GDP and inflation.

NRF Big Show takeaways

Industry events are taking a breather this week after the NRF Big Show and Winter Fancy Foods Show kicked off the tradeshow year with high energy. With this week providing a chance to reflect and catch up following all of the activity, we’ll take a moment to share three takeaways from the NRF Big Show:

What does omnichannel mean now? The pandemic brought the spike in ecommerce, and last year featured the return to stores. Technology that connects the two is still called omnichannel, but a lot has changed over the last few years. Think: Googling "In stock near me," Buy Online, Pickup in Store. Building technology for in-person shopping that has digital touchpoints feels more important. Should we still call it omnichannel?

Profitability over growth. With a tougher economic environment expected this year, there's more priority on building loyalty with existing customers, and tightening up operations. We've had three years of swings and adjustment to huge changes. This year, there's an opportunity to pick which of the new approaches stick, and fine-tune to make them work for the long haul.

Composable commerce is everywhere. Retailers used to build custom ecommerce systems. Now, more technology is being built that allows them to choose the best pieces for their needs. Composable commerce is growing not only for customer-facing functions in the shopping experience, but also on the fulfillment and supply chain side. Leaders believe this technology must be built to allow for continuing change as new advances are developed.

The Current will continue to roll out interviews and analysis from the Big Show for the rest of January. Subscribe to The Daily Current newsletter to get the latest in your inbox.

Economic indicators

Gross Domestic Product: The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis releases the Q4 2022 growth rate of GDP, which is the top measure of economic activity. This includes consumer spending, and any growth or decline is a primary indicator of whether demand for goods is remaining strong. In Q3, GDP grew 3.2%. 8:30 a.m., Jan. 26

Durable Goods Orders: The U.S. Commerce Department releases data for December on manufacturer orders and shipments of goods that are meant to last three years or more. This is an indicator of demand for larger-ticket purchases. 8:30 a.m., Jan. 26

Personal Consumption Expenditures: The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis releases data on consumer spending, savings and inflation for December 2022. This is the measure of inflation watched by the Federal Reserve and many economists.

Consumer Sentiment: The University of Michigan releases final data on consumer buying plans and economic expectations in January. In the initial reading, sentiment rose to its highest level since April as more people see inflation beginning to fall.


Tuesday, Jan. 24: 3M, Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson

Wednesday, Jan. 25: Kimberly-Clark, Levi Strauss & Co.

Thurs., Jan 26:McCormick, Visa, Mastercard, Tractor Supply

Friday, Jan. 27: Colgate Palmolive

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Trending in Economy


US imports expected to fall 22% in first half of 2023: NRF

Labor disputes on the West Coast could cause further disruption heading into peak season.

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Photo by Venti Views on Unsplash

When the first half of 2023 is complete, imports are expected to dip 22% below last year.

That’s according to new data from the Global Port Tracker, which is compiled monthly by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

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