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“With jobs and income growing and debt relatively low, the fundamentals are in place and the consumer is in the driver’s seat,” said Matthew Shay, NRF president and CEO. “But this year is unlike any other – while consumers have strength they haven’t had in the past, they will remain hesitant to spend until they have more certainty about policy changes on taxes, trade and other issues being debated in Congress.”
But several large retailers have already announced brick-and-mortar store closures, signifying a shift in consumer habits. More and more, consumers are heading online for their shopping. In the first month of the year, retailers like Sears, Macy’s, Kmart and Ann Taylor all announced store closures.
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Women’s clothing retailer The Limited closed all brick-and-mortar locations — including ones at The Greene Town Center and the Liberty Center — before filing for bankruptcy. Teen clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch, based in New Albany outside of Columbus, also told this news outlet that it would lay off 150 employees this year.
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