Retail I (Spending Surprises to the Upside)

US retail sales were up 0.8% in November vs. an expected 0.3% increase, a good sign for the economy in Q4 provided that a vast majority of those sales don't end up getting returned immediately after the holidays. The link has an interesting chart. It doesn't appear, however, that European retailers like Hennes & Mauritz AB (H&M) can revel in the news. The company - previously blamed for the decline of fashion retail in the US due to its fast trend-based innovation and production - reported dogsh*t numbers earlier this week. Notably, "[t]he H&M brand’s online sales and sales of the group’s other brands continued to develop well. Meanwhile, the quarter was weak for the H&M brand’s physical stores, which were negatively affected by a continued challenging market situation with reduced footfall to stores due to the ongoing shift in the industry." The company may be forced to slow expansion plans and close stores. 90 is the number currently floated. We expect there to be more.