October 28, 2023
Surveys Forecast Strong Retail Q4, But Inflation Has Shoppers Expecting Discounts
Forbes Money Investing Surveys Forecast Strong Retail Q4, But Inflation Has Shoppers Expecting Discounts Greg Petro Contributor Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Following Oct 28, 2023, 01:32pm EDT | Press play to listen to this article! Got it! Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to Linkedin Surveys Forecast Strong Retail Q4, But Inflation Has Shoppers Expecting Discounts getty Consumers plan to boost their holiday spending this year by 14%, besting pre-pandemic levels for the first time, although shoppers say the price will be the leading factor in choosing where to shop, a trend that should most benefit big box retailers. Those are some of the headline findings in two new consumer research reports from First Insight Inc. and Deloitte Consulting . Despite retailers’ worries about the possible dampening effects of inflation, higher interest rates, rising credit card balances, and the restart of student loan payments, the do-or-die fourth quarter (Nov. 1 to Jan. 31) is shaping up to be better than most retail executives have been projecting. The survey results are consistent with a recent report by Forrester Research that consumer spending in June was up 5% year over year. That was slower than a year earlier, but Forrester said it is “not because people are buying less but because they are paying less for what they buy.” Consumers may be worried about inflation, but in some categories, like food, the real trend year-over-year is more like deflation. The chorus of optimism is aligned with other data points, including one in the International Monetary Fund’s latest World Economic Outloo k that the US gross domestic product (GDP) since 2019 has exceeded pre-Covid projections. Consulting giant McKinsey recently reported that “consumer optimism in the United States remained steady over the summer, while consumer spending saw a modest uptick across most categories.” MORE FOR YOU ‘South Park: Joining The Panderverse’ Review — Disney Satire At Its Finest WWE SmackDown Results: Winners And Grades On October 27, 2023 Shock Leak Reveals Elon Musk s Mind Blowing X Plan To Replace Banks And PayPal Sparking Wild Critical Mass Bitcoin And Crypto Price Speculation So much for the recession that economists had been predicting for the past year or so. Also, the handwringing over worrisome trends like the latest report from Fitch Ratings that delinquent auto loans in September hit the highest level in three decades, and the stagnating real estate market as mortgage rates discourage buyers. So, what keeps the economy humming in the face of all those headwinds? For starters, the $1.2 billion infrastructure bill that Congress passed last year to help blunt the pandemic’s impact is still working its way through the system. As a frequent traveler, I've been to eight airports in the last two months, and every single one had a major construction project underway. Arterial roadways like Pittsburgh and Houston are being ripped up and repaired. Then there’s the fact that just about anyone who wants to work can find a Job and the stubbornly low unemployment rate. Housing costs are an ongoing challenge, with experts predicting high prices and mortgage rates will continue to frustrate homebuyers through the end of the year. But that same trend means millions of households feel flush with home equity and thus more confident about discretionary spending. All this good news will be tempered for retailers by pressure on prices and, thus, margins. In the First Insight survey, consumers said by a large margin that the most significant influence on their shopping choices will be prices and promotional deals. Explicitly asked what type of store they prefer for holiday shopping, 58% said big box retailers like Target and Walmart. As to what they plan to buy for the holidays, 70% mentioned gift cards. Brand loyalty is a dominating factor among shoppers. The Deloitte survey of 4,330 consumers found that 76% of consumers “often or always shop at their favorite retailer.” Not a bad Holiday 2023 retail outlook. Wondering what is in store for 2024… Check out my website . Greg Petro Editorial Standards Print Reprints & Permissions
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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