Industry Updates

July 22, 2022

June Retail Sales Increased Despite Rising Inflation 
Retail sales increased in June even as inflation climbed higher and drove up prices across the board, the National Retail Federation said today. “June retail sales data shows that consumers remain on solid footing despite rising prices and an active Fed raising interest rates to combat it,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Inflation has consumers modifying their spending behavior and prioritizing essentials like food, energy and back-to-school items. Unfortunately, modified consumer behavior won’t be sufficient to offset persistent price increases. Other policy measures like removing China tariffs, enacting smart immigration reforms and investing in supply chain resiliency are needed to lower costs for American families and put much-needed dollars back into their pockets.” NRF’s calculation of retail sales – which excludes automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants to focus on core retail – showed June was up 0.6 percent from May and up 5.8 percent unadjusted year over year. In May, sales were down 0.3 percent month over month but up 6.3 percent year over year. | More Information

EXEC: Surveys Find Global Supply Chain Crisis Could Worsen
Despite signs of lessening port congestion in the U.S., several recent surveys conducted with supply chain professionals show that economic conditions, rising inflation and global tensions prevent a return to normal. A recent survey of supply chain executives conducted by Carl Marks Advisors in partnership with SupplyChainBrain found that more than half of the total respondents do not expect a return to a “normal” supply chain until the first half of 2024 or beyond, while 22 percent said that they expected disruptions to continue until the second half of 2023. Respondents also said they see threats clouding the landscape and complicating a return to a reliable supply chain, most notably the war in Ukraine, 30 percent and labor concerns, 24 percent. The survey, conducted from May 20 to June 10, included responses from 107 U.S. supply chain executives across various industries. | More Information

Industry Updates

June 28, 2022

NRF Says Economy ‘Being Rebalanced’ but ‘Extreme Cooling Off’ Seems Unlikely 
The Federal Reserve faces “a tricky job” in addressing inflation but continuing growth in employment, wages and consumer spending make it unlikely the effort will backfire into a major setback for the economy, National Retail Federation Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz. “Though many people fear an extreme cooling off of the economy, there is not an overwhelming amount of evidence to support such predictions,” Kleinhenz said. “In general, the data suggests that we remain in an ongoing expansion.”Kleinhenz’s remarks came in the June issue of NRF’s Monthly Economic Review, which noted that the latest Blue Chip Economic Indicators survey of economists projects that gross domestic product will climb 2.6 percent this year and another 2.1 percent in 2023. | More Information

U.S. Ports Remain at Near-Record Volume as Demand Continues and West Coast Contract Deadline Approaches
Imports at the nation’s major retail container ports should see near-record volume again this month as retailers work to meet still-strong consumer demand and also protect themselves against potential disruptions at West Coast ports, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates. “We’re in for a busy summer at the ports,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “Back-to-school supplies are already arriving, and holiday merchandise will be right behind them.” | More Information

May Retail Sales Slow Amid Ongoing Inflation
Retail sales slowed in May as consumers faced continuing inflation and higher prices for essentials like food and gasoline, the National Retail Federation said. “Retail sales are reflecting Americans’ growing concern about inflation and its impact on the cost of everything from groceries to gas,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Retailers are doing what they can to keep prices down, but we continue our call on the administration to repeal unnecessary and costly tariffs on goods from China to relieve pressure on American consumers and their family budgets.” | More Information

Industry Updates

May 6, 2022

NRF Says Economy Should Continue ‘Bustling Forward’ Even as Fed Works to Bring Inflation under Control
The economy’s fast-paced growth could slow somewhat as the Federal Reserve tries to bring inflation under control in the next few months, but consumers are likely to keep on shopping as lower inflation eases uncertainty, National Retail Federation Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. While the Fed’s actions could mean higher car and mortgage payments, Kleinhenz said household finances have remained strong despite consumers’ worries over inflation and the war in Ukraine. The 4 percent year-over-year increase in retail sales in March showed consumers have the willingness and ability to spend as a result of job growth, wage gains and wealth accumulated during the pandemic as well as low financial obligations relative to income. | More Information

Mother’s Day Spending to Reach Record High
Mother’s Day spending is expected to total $31.7 billion this year, up $3.6 billion from 2021’s record spending, according to the annual consumer survey* released by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. Approximately 84 percent of U.S. adults are expected to celebrate Mother’s Day. Consumers plan to spend $25 more this year on Mother’s Day purchases and are expected to spend a record average of $245.76. | More Information

Outdoor Retailer Releases Floor Plan, Exhibitor List for Summer Show
Details about the upcoming Outdoor Retailer (OR) show in Denver were published today, including the event’s exhibitor list, floor plan, and education and event lineup. Staging June 9-11 at the Colorado Convention Center, the show will be the last in Denver before the event decamps for Salt Lake City at the beginning of 2023. The exhibitor list includes nearly 500 brands, though some notable companies that have skipped the last couple of shows are also absent here, like Patagonia, The North Face, and Black Diamond. Some of the larger brands on the list include CamelBak, Dometic, Fjallraven, Helly Hansen, Hydro Flask, Mystery Ranch, Osprey, Sea to Summit, and YETI. | More Information

2022 Firearm Industry Compliance Education 
In 2022, NSSF®, the firearm industry trade association, will be providing industry businesses with FREE in-depth compliance online training and insights via the 2022 Firearm Industry Compliance Education Series — a monthly, live webinar series, with a focus on topics central to our industry including ATF inspection preparedness, Straw Purchase awareness, improving store security, OSHA lead & noise compliance and much more. NSSF is committed to helping your company improve operations, public safety and the overall health of the firearms industry. | More Information

Industry Updates

April 25, 2022

March Retail Sales Grew Despite Higher Inflation 
Retail sales grew in March even as inflation edged higher, the National Retail Federation. “March retail sales show that consumers have maintained their ability to spend in the face of record-level inflation, supply chain issues and geopolitical unrest,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Consumers are adapting and shopping smarter for themselves and their families. We believe the strength of the consumer can carry the economy through this considerable economic uncertainty if policymakers implement measured policies and do not overreact to current conditions.” | More Information

U.S. Ports Seeing Brief Slowdown from Last Year but Imports Remain High
The nation’s major retail container ports have begun to catch up with the backlog of cargo seen over the past several months, but could experience another surge this summer, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates. U.S. ports covered by Global Port Tracker handled 2.11 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units – one 20-foot container or its equivalent – in February, the latest month for which final numbers are available. That was down 2.3 percent from January but up 13 percent year-over-year. Hackett Associates Founder Ben Hackett said volumes remained high in February despite factories in parts of Asia closing for the Lunar New Year holiday because U.S. ports were able to handle cargo from ships already waiting for a berth. | 
More Information

Firearms Industry Economic Impact Rises 269 Percent Since 2008 
The total economic impact of the firearm and ammunition industry in the United States increased from $19.1 billion in 2008 to $70.52 billion in 2021, a 269 percent increase, while the total number of full-time equivalent jobs rose from approximately 166,000 to over 375,819, a 126 percent increase in that period, according to a report released by the NSSF, the firearm industry trade association. On a year-over-year basis, the industry’s economic impact rose from $63.5 billion in 2020 to $70.52 billion. Total jobs increased by over 33,000 in the same period, from 342,330 to 375,819. The firearm industry has broader impacts throughout the economy, and it supports and generates business for companies unrelated to firearms, including banking, retail, accounting, metalworking, and printing. | More Information

Legislation to Conserve America’s Largest Watershed
ASA Inland Fisheries Policy manager, Connor Bevin, discusses urgent legislation making its way through Congress. The Mississippi River Restoration and Resiliency Initiative (MRRRI), modeled on other successful regional restoration programs, will authorize $300 million in federal funding to support integrated state efforts to improve water quality, conserve wildlife habitats and combat the spread of invasive species. | More Information


Industry Updates

March 25, 2022
NRF Forecasts Annual Retail Sales to Grow Between 6 Percent and 8 Percent 
The National Retail Federation issued its annual forecast, anticipating that retail sales will grow between 6 percent and 8 percent to more than $4.86 trillion in 2022. The announcement was made during NRF’s annual State of Retail & the Consumer virtual event where retail industry leaders discussed the strength of the consumer economy and the future of retail. The 2022 figure compares with 14 percent annual growth rate in 2021, the highest growth rate in more than 20 years. This year’s sales forecast is notably above the 10-year, pre-pandemic growth rate of 3.7 percent. NRF anticipates strong job and wage growth and declining unemployment. The organization projects full-year GDP growth will be slower this year, around 3.5 percent, given the surge of inflation and tightening of monetary policy and less fiscal stimulus. Retail sales are expected to remain strong as the economy opens further in the coming months, but there is considerable uncertainty this year that NRF will continue to monitor closely. | More Information

Firearm Retailer/Range Compliance Education
In 2022, NSSF®’s Firearm Retailer/Range Compliance Education will continue to offer FREE in-depth industry compliance training and insights for businesses operating within the firearms industry. NSSF®, the firearm industry trade association, is committed to helping your company improve operations, public safety and the overall health of the firearms industry, and education is a key component to our combined success. These monthly live sessions will focus on topics central to our industry including ATF inspection preparedness, Straw Purchase awareness, improving store security, OSHA lead & noise compliance and much more. | More Information 

February another Record Month At The Port Of Los Angeles 
The Port of Los Angeles processed 857,764 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) in February, a 7.3 percent increase compared to last year. It was the Port’s busiest February in its 115-year history and represents back-to-back record months to begin 2022. “The combined efforts of dockworkers, terminal operators and our waterfront partners have improved fluidity and productivity,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “Since November, we’ve been able to increase the number of containers leaving our docks by 16 percent.” | More Information

February Retail Sales Rose Strongly Year-Over-Year While Monthly Pace Slowed Amid Inflation
Retail sales showed a strong year-over-year gain in February, but the monthly pace slowed compared with January as inflation drove up prices and lingering effects of the COVID-19 omicron variant affected the supply chain, the National Retail Federation said. The U.S. Census Bureau said overall retail sales in February were up 0.3 percent seasonally adjusted from January and up 17.6 percent year-over-year. That built on a monthly increase of 4.9 percent in January over December – more than a percentage point higher than the original estimate of 3.8 percent – and January’s 14 percent increase year-over-year. Despite occasional month-over-month declines, sales have grown year-over-year every month since June 2020, according to Census data. | More Information

Toy Association Alerts Members to New Supply Chain Challenges Emerging in  China
As The Toy Association continues to provide the latest updates and resources addressing the ongoing supply chain crisis, it is alerting members that new Chinese government-imposed lockdowns could cause further delays in supply chains in the coming months if the situation worsens. COVID-19 infection rates hit a two-year high in China last week leading to widespread lockdowns in major port cities − including the toy manufacturing hub of Shenzhen − as part of the country’s zero-COVID policy. While terminals are still operating normally for now, factories, warehouses, and distribution centers remain closed; trucking capacity is limited; and shippers are canceling cargo bookings in Shenzhen with freight being diverted to other ports, according to the latest reports. | More Information

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