Monga points to two indexes of consumer activity and attitudes as red lights for retail: the Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index (down nearly 20 percent since last December) and the savings rate (currently double the typical 6-8 percent range). Americans are, overall, wary and worried, and even those who are employed are holding onto a portion of their potential disposable income. The few bright spots, such as outdoor retailer REI, can’t overcome sharp drops in clothing purchases. This dismal holiday hiring season will just lock in structural shifts decimating retail, especially as warehouse operators adopt robotics and other means of increasing efficiency.
Cutouts is an open source application. Code licensed under the MIT license. Copyright 2018 Siddharth Kannan