Executive Briefing

Consumer behavior is ‘difficult to predict at best right now’

Notes from Target and Walmart earnings. Also: Robot salads, Drizly data, and Instacart’s early vision for AI-native grocery shopping.

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Consumer behavior is ‘difficult to predict at best right now’

That’s the word from Walmart CFO John David Rainey on yesterday’s earnings call. Earlier this week, similar sentiment from Target, which said sales were still growing in February before dipping into year-over-year declines in April and so far into May.

Consensus from both retail giants: Consumers are still spending on groceries and essentials, but holding off on discretionary purchases in categories like home and hard goods — and for Target, apparel.

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Dan Frommer

Hi, I’m Dan Frommer and this is The New Consumer, a publication about how and why people spend their time and money.

I’m a longtime tech and business journalist, and I’m excited to focus my attention on how technology continues to profoundly change how things are created, experienced, bought, and sold. The New Consumer is supported by your membership — join now to receive my reporting, analysis, and commentary directly in your inbox, via my member-exclusive newsletter. Thanks in advance.

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