retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Wall Street Journal reports how how "storm-hit residents in the Northeast are altering their buying habits, skipping optional items in favor of necessities in a shift that raises questions about how the holiday season will fare."

The story goes on: "In New York, New Jersey and Connecticut brick-and-mortar shopping visits were down 7% last week, compared to the average number of shopping visits over the five prior weeks, NPD Group said.
Many consumers were unable to turn to their computers to shop because of widespread power outages, so online retail suffered. Online buying visits in the Northeast fell 4% when compared to the average of the prior five weeks, NPD said."

The general sense is that the impact of Sandy - and the piling-on that took place yesterday when a Nor'easter hit the region with an early season snowstorm - will be an end-of-year holiday shopping season that may look very different from what was expected just a few weeks ago, though the National Retail Federation (NRF) says it is sticking to its prediction of a 4.1 percent growth in holiday sales.

Meanwhile...

• Wakefern Food Corp. announced that "on behalf of its ShopRite and PriceRite stores, it will donate up to $1 million in both funds and in-kind donations  to assist in the relief efforts for those struggling in the wake of super storm Sandy. The company’s support will focus on regional food banks in the areas its stores serve throughout the Northeast who are providing meals and other assistance to those who have been displaced from their homes."

• And, Ahold-owned Stop & Shop announced "donations totaling $2.5 million from the companies and their charitable foundation, Our Family Foundation, to the American Red Cross.  The donations are being made to support Hurricane Sandy disaster recovery and clean up efforts helping families affected by the recent storm, with an emphasis on the hardest hit areas in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.  In addition, Stop & Shop stores in New York and New Jersey will serve as drop-off points for canned and packaged food."
KC's View:
I can't believe that we're still going post-Sandy stories, and I'm looking out my window at a yard that is covered with snow.

Oy.