Retailers Are Now Blaming The Election For Poor Sales

by MR Magazine Staff

It’s usually the weather. Now there’s a new excuse that U.S. retailers and restaurants are floating to explain their lackluster results. It’s the election, stupid. To hear retail executives tell it, the battle for the presidency between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton is causing Americans to put off buying everything from romance novels at Barnes & Noble and jeans from the Gap to burritos at Yum! Brand Inc.’s Taco Bell. They might even be delaying wedding engagements, not good news for companies like Signet Jewelers Ltd. “The preoccupation with this election is keeping them at home, glued to their TVs and at their desktops,” said Len Riggio, the founder and chief executive officer of Barnes & Noble Inc. This election is “unprecedented in terms of the fear, anger and frustration being experienced by the public.” Retailers and restaurants have used a handful of well-worn excuses over the years with varying levels of legitimacy. There’s the usual culprit, the weather, and shifts in the calendar, such as Easter coming early. Now they’ve added presidential politics. That explanation had some validity four years ago because the backdrop of the campaign was the so-called fiscal cliff that was due to usher in large tax increases and government spending cuts, says Ken Perkins, president of researcher Retail Metrics. Read more at Bloomberg.