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Retailers Assess Stores as Consumers Sustain Spending: The Week Ahead

VF Corp. kicks off the start of earnings season next week when it reports third-quarter results, a reminder that U.S. retailers will soon be reporting on their fourth-quarter and year-end results.

Most retailers will disclose their earnings in March, although the big focus could be on the quarter’s margin reports, given that holiday seems to have been a mixed bag, largely depending on the channel of operation.

Meanwhile, most economists expect consumers will continue to drive economic growth in the U.S., given the tight labor market and seemingly strong wage growth. Friday’s University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey didn’t disappoint, and suggests that the economists could be right about economic growth throughout 2020.

Consumer Sentiment: The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey remained virtually unchanged, with January’s reading at 99.1 versus 99.3 last month. The current conditions component rose 0.3 points, while the expectations index fell 0.6 points.

“Consumers will continue to sustain the expansion due to their favorable judgments about their current and prospective financial situation,” Richard Curtin, Surveys of Consumers chief economist, said.

Store Closures: Now that the Farfetch Ltd.-owned New Guards Group has acquired Opening Ceremony, the digital luxury platform plans to close the experimental brand’s four retail locations over the course of the year. The closures are designed to give Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, the brand’s founders, a break to refresh and focus solely on the collection as a mono-brand–at least for the immediate future.

The four locations add to the 28 stores Macy’s Inc. said it would shutter and the up to 450 doors Pier 1 Imports is slated to close this year. But not all store news these days is negative. Sportsman’s Warehouse Holdings said this week that it plans to open three new stores this year. The expansion includes one location in Parker, Colo., and two in California, one in Brentwood and the other in Corona.

More decisions on store openings and closings are likely to trickle out over the next few months.

Trade Shows: Texworld USA will take over the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center from Sunday through Tuesday, as will Project New York, the showcase for men’s contemporary, premium denim and designer collections.