Relevant views on the economy and its impact on shoppers, retail and trade strategy.

  • Back-to-school season expected to be the strongest in four years
    Kantar Consulting’s forecast for the back-to-school third quarter is encouraging for most retailers, but an evolved strategy may be needed to ...
  • June retail sales: Strong growth ahead of the back-to-school season
    Retail sales growth maintained a strong pace in June. Find out in this article what contributed to the growth and if similar trends are expected ...
  • Category forecasts to 2023: Evolving strategies for capturing share of wallet
    Kantar Consulting’s recently released category forecasts indicate a change in strategy is needed ...
  • The macro mandate: Leverage economic insights to capture a larger share of wallet
    Macro trends are quickly changing the very definition of household shoppers and retail. Household ...
  • Global macro outlook
    Most major global markets are poised for stronger growth in 2018. Find out in this summary slide deck which markets will improve and which will ...
  • Canadian Macroeconomic and Retail Sales Overview
    Canada has the fastest growing, but perhaps the most uncertain, growth trajectory among major developed markets. Find out in this report why and ...
    

The macro economy is polarizing households at both ends of the income spectrum. Adjusting to this new world of Haves and Have Nots is key to creating value - and long-term success - in today's retail marketplace.

Key Indicators

 
ARTICLE

June retail sales: Strong growth ahead of the back-to-school season

20 Jul 2018

  By: Doug Hermanson

Retail sales growth maintained a strong pace in June. Find out in this article what contributed to the growth and if similar trends are expected for the upcoming back-to-school season.

 
ARTICLE

May retail sales: Growth lifted by improved weather and job growth

27 Jun 2018

  By: Doug Hermanson

Retail sales growth in May matched its strongest growth in five months. Find out in this article which retail channels drove the acceleration, and what macro factors encouraged shoppers to spend more than they did in the previous month.

 
ARTICLE

April retail sales: Stronger spending plans upended by weather and store closures

21 May 2018

  By: Doug Hermanson

Retail sales growth in April may have disappointed some, but spending plans portend stronger growth in the coming months. This article summarizes retail channel performance in April, and the expected positives and negatives within the retail economy in the short term.

 
ARTICLE

March retail sales: Tax cuts imperceptible in top-line growth

19 Apr 2018

  By: Doug Hermanson

Retail sales growth in March held to only a moderate pace despite a potential lift from tax cuts and more tax refund checks hitting shoppers’ bank accounts in March. Find in this article the macro, retail, and policy factors which shaped shopper and retail performance in March.

 
ARTICLE

February retail sales: Consumables-focused channels increasingly lag online and specialty

20 Mar 2018

  By: Doug Hermanson

The supermarket, mass/value, and drugstore channels lagged further behind the retail average in February due to a mix of transient and lingering factors that heightened concerns among shoppers. Find in this article the macro, retail, and policy factors which shaped shopper and retail performance.

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Topical Pulse

 
Webinar

US Home Improvement Webinar: Home improvement strategic checkup - Understanding the current retailer and shopper landscape to build future growth

2 Aug 2018, 01:00 PM EDT

As the macro environment stabilizes in a post-recession economy, the home improvement channel has fared particularly well, with a continued positive outlook in future forecasts. Amid this period of growth, key home improvement retailers have been proactive in investing in initiatives that will drive future growth, rather than resting on the laurels of recent successes. Six months after announcing major changes to strategic initiatives, Home Depot’s investment of over $11 billion, aimed ...

 
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The macro outlook for the back-to-school season is mostly positive according to Kantar Consulting’s latest forecast, but households without children are likely to drive most of the spending in the third quarter. Top-line growth in the back-to-school third quarter will be 4.4%, up from ...

 
ARTICLE

Back-to-school season expected to be the strongest in four years

23 Jul 2018

  By: Doug Hermanson

Kantar Consulting’s forecast for the back-to-school third quarter is encouraging for most retailers, but an evolved strategy may be needed to win back-to-school shoppers and other households. We summarize the macro opportunities, challenges, and strategies shaping the back-to-school season.

 
Webinar

US Home Improvement Webinar: Aligning with retailer services to build value across shopper segments

20 Jun 2018, 01:00 PM EDT

In a time when shoppers are empowered by digital technology and presented with a wider set of retail formats to choose from, many are rethinking their spending priorities and their views around value. Shoppers’ will no longer compromise on price, quality, or convenience elevating personalized experiences like services as key value differentiators in retail. In fact, Kantar Consulting forecasts that consumer spending on services will rise to 70% of all consumer spending by 2023. As ...

 
Webinar

US Home Improvement Webinar – Finding New Growth in Home Improvement: The Shift to Providing Complete Home Solutions

8 Mar 2018, 01:00 PM EST

In the wake of a strong macro environment and increased savings from the recent U.S. tax bill, home improvement retailers are looking ahead to what’s next for the channel, rather than idling in their recent successes. As retailers funnel capital expenditures into new initiatives, the shift to becoming complete home solution providers becomes more pronounced. Growth into décor-related categories, home design services, and digital tools are becoming more prominent offers from ...

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Future Outlook

 
Summary Slides

The macro mandate: Leverage economic insights to capture a larger share of wallet

14 Jun 2018

By: Doug Hermanson, Hannah Hayes.  78 Slides

Macro trends are quickly changing the very definition of household shoppers and retail. Household shoppers have fragmented across economic, geographic, and demographic lines.

 
Webinar

Emerging Macro Retail Trends Webinar - Competing for Share of Wallet: Forecasts and Implications

2 May 2018, 11:00 AM EDT

Competition for share of wallet is heating up. Digital has brought all categories within the reach of shoppers at just about any point in time, making specialty goods and services more accessible. Meanwhile, costs are rising in some essential services and goods, siphoning away discretionary income. Consumer brands will increasingly struggle to stand on their own as shoppers adjust their spending accordingly. Suppliers and retailers will need to develop new partnerships, assets, and skills ...

 
Summary Slides

Global macro outlook

5 Apr 2018

By: Doug Hermanson.  16 Slides

Most major global markets are poised for stronger growth in 2018. Find out in this summary slide deck which markets will improve and which will fall further behind.

 
Webinar

Emerging Macro Retail Trends Webinar: 2018 U.S. Outlook - Planning for the Year Ahead 

1 Feb 2018, 11:00 AM EST

Retailers and manufacturers should be optimistic about 2018 given the lift tax cuts will provide to spending. But shifting digital, demographic, and economic trends mean it will be a retail environment in which change will be rewarded, while the status quo will be scrutinized. Tune in to this webinar to understand what strategies you need to change to win shoppers in 2018. As part of this discussion, expect to learn: How changes to tax policy will affect retail in 2018. The retailers, ...

 
Summary Slides

U.S. Macro Outlook: Proposed Tax Cuts Needed to Firm Up Demand in 2018 (Preliminary Report)

22 Dec 2017

By: Doug Hermanson.  30 Slides

This slide deck features a preliminary expectations for the macro environment in 2018. Also included is an initial analysis of the December tax proposal and its retail implications.

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Market Forecasts

 
ARTICLE

Category forecasts to 2023: Evolving strategies for capturing share of wallet

21 Jun 2018

  By: Doug Hermanson

Kantar Consulting’s recently released category forecasts indicate a change in strategy is needed for many suppliers to capture share of total spending. This article discusses the macro assumptions, forecast results, and strategic implications that are dialing up this loud call for action.

 
Summary Slides

Home improvement forecasts and outlook

21 Mar 2018

By: Doug Hermanson.  11 Slides

In 2018, the core home improvement channel is expected to outpace the all-retail average for the seventh-straight year. Find out in this publication what these trends mean for suppliers and retailers.

 
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BLOG POST

Improved retail growth in 2018

12 Feb 2018  By: Doug Hermanson

With new tax legislation, more of shoppers’ money will be going to retailers and less to the government in 2018, catalyzing the strongest retail sales growth since 2014. Retailers should still plan for old and new challenges in the coming quarters, which will offset some of the benefits ...

 
Summary Slides

2017 Winter Holiday Forecasts

15 Sep 2017

By: Doug Hermanson.  13 Slides

Select U.S. forecasts for the winter holiday quarter are featured in this summary slide deck. Data for all underlying channel forecasts—nominal, real, and price series—are available via a link on the webpage.

 
Summary Slides

U.S. Channel Forecasts: Q3 Outlook

7 Aug 2017

By: Doug Hermanson.  10 Slides

Forecasts for the back-to-school quarter by channel are featured in this summary slide deck. Data for all underlying channel forecasts—nominal, real, and price series—are available via a link on the webpage.

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