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•  "A record 196.7 million Americans shopped in stores and online during the five-day holiday shopping period from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday," according to the annual survey released yesterday by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics. "The total number of shoppers grew by nearly 17 million from 2021 and is the highest figure since NRF first started tracking this data in 2017 … According to the survey, more than three-quarters (76%) of consumers say they shopped over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, up from 70% in 2021. The numbers shattered NRF’s initial expectations by more than 30 million.

"Retailers saw a sizable uptick of in-store shoppers. More than 122.7 million people visited bricks-and-mortar stores over the weekend, up 17% from 2021. The number of online shoppers also grew, albeit at a slower pace. This year saw 130.2 million online shoppers, a 2% increase over 2021."

•  FMI - The Food Industry Association yesterday said that it "welcomed the commitment from Congressional leaders to pass legislation that would prevent a rail strike from occurring on December 9 after rail stakeholders failed to reach consensus in recent weeks."

FMI Chief Public Policy Officer Jennifer Hatcher said in a prepared statement:  “Freight rail networks play a critical role in our nation’s food and consumer goods supply chain, transporting raw materials to manufacturing and processing plants that ultimately produce many of the goods sold on grocery store shelves. As we head into the busiest shopping season of the year, Congress must act now to keep our railroads operational. We are encouraged that leaders in the House and Senate have signaled their commitment to passing legislation to avert a rail strike, and we strongly urge lawmakers in both chambers to swiftly approve the bill in bipartisan fashion … A potential rail strike would have significant ramifications for our economy as well as the food industry’s ability to operate as efficiently as possible to meet consumer demand. As we are in the midst of the busy holiday season, American consumers and businesses cannot afford to have our economy shut down."

•  Ahold Delhaize yesterday announced "the update of its interim CO2 emissions reduction target for its entire value chain … to at least 37% by 2030, and to become net-zero by 2050. For its own operations, the company remains committed to become net-zero by 2040 with an interim target of a 50% reduction by 2030. With this updated … interim target, Ahold Delhaize aims to achieve the decarbonization of its entire value chain and ensures that all of its climate targets are in line with the UN's goal of keeping global warming below 1.5°C."