Is Mom Cutting Back On Shopping For Herself?

With less money to spend on gifts for their families, mothers “pull back on spending for themselves first.”

– John Morris, Senior Retail Analyst, Wachovia, quoted in “Retailers Face Ominous Holiday Sign”, The New York Times, Monday December 17

Got to love Moms.  Always putting their families first.  God bless ’em.

A division of MasterCard yesterday said that sales of women’s apparel were down 6% from last year in the first half of the holiday season (Fri Nov 23 – Wed Dec 12).

This is a concern because women make the vast majority of retail purchases and their spending is a closely watched barometer of industry health.

Along the same lines, The Wall Street Journal had a story on the front page of their “Money & Investing” section this morning titled “Will Americans Shop On?” (subscription required).

A chart showing the divergence of consumer staples (XLP) and consumer discretionary (XLY) stocks since July tells the whole story (XLP and XLY Divergence Chart).

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