The Weekly Consensus™ brings to your inbox every Monday a summary of the major stories that impacted consumer businesses in the prior week. It also includes “The Big Story” – and editorial by a Consensus professional commenting on an item of significance to the industry.


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Growing up, it seemed that my parents never returned a gift.  Later, it became apparent that maybe half the gifts were put to use and the other half were put in a drawer – permanently. Well, brick and mortar retailers and e-commerce retailers today wistfully long for such simple consumer behavior.  However, the purchase-return – […]

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In the first major post-holiday report, Mastercard projected U.S. retail sales grew 3.0 percent in the expanded selling season from Oct. 11 through Dec. 24, short of 2019’s four percent gain, but ahead of a forecast for 2.4 percent growth. Mastercard SpendingPulse tracks online and in-store spending with all forms of payment. The Wall Street […]

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What a year. A crippling pandemic. Protests and riots. A bitterly fought election. At some point in 2020, so many things had gone wrong that it became a cliché (and even felt a little naive) to express optimism for 2021. But we are almost there, and now as newly approved COVID-19 vaccines begin to roll […]

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On December 11th, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the emergency use of Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine (and others nearing approval) are expected to reach hundreds of millions of Americans by the end of 2021. These efforts should bring an end to the most devastating global pandemic in a century. Amid […]

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With encouraging COVID-19 vaccine approvals tantalizingly close, a milestone or a turning-of-the-corner moment feels near. Such moments are often a good time to look back, and to also peer forward. As we do that in the context of the consumer economy, interestingly, a key theme in both the post-mortem of the last nine months and […]

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