Retailers to Washington: Spend!  

New York – Retailers, specifically the board of directors of the National Retail Federation, are calling on Congress to stimulate the economy by action to “put dollars back in consumers’ pockets to fuel and sustain economic growth.”

Essentially, the issue boils down to taxes.

The NRF board was not specific about its demand, but Rachelle Bernstein, vp and tax counsel, NRF, told HTT the type of stimulus in question – “there are bipartisan proposals out there” – includes ideas like tax rebate checks, such as were sent to consumers in summer 2001; and a national sales tax holiday, with the federal government reimbursing states for lost sales tax revenue.

“Consumers will be under continued financial stress in 2008 as a result of high energy costs, the fallout from the housing slump, sluggish employment and income growth,” the NRF board said in its unanimous resolution, which called upon “the President and Congress to act quickly and in bipartisan fashion to enact targeted economic stimulus legislation...”

Board members include the leaders of Linens ’n Things, Polo Ralph Lauren, Hudson’s Bay Company, Tractor Supply, Borders, Office Depot, Circuit City and McDonalds.

Yesterday’s NRF board action came after the Commerce Department said that retail sales for December (excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants) rose 1.7% unadjusted over 2006 and decreased 0.4% seasonally adjusted from November.

Combined November-December holiday sales, the Commerce Dept. said, totaled $469.9 billion, a 3% increase that fell short of NRF’s earlier prediction of a 4% increase. The increase was the lowest since 2002, when holiday sales rose 1.3%.

Home & Textiles Today Staff | News & Commentary

 Home Textiles Today is the market-leading brand covering the home and textiles markets, offering a comprehensive package of print and online products. Home & Textiles Today provides industry news, product trends and introductions, exclusive industry research, consumer data, store operations solutions, trade show news and much more.

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HTT Cover October 2017

See the October 2017 issue of Home & Textiles Today. In this issue, we look at the Top 25 Online Retailers.  H&TT's exclusive annual ranking of the biggest online sellers of home textiles finds that while pure play etailers continue to fly, bricks & clicks are digging into omnichannel. See details!