What We’re Reading

Divergent outcomes:

In March and April, according to OpenTable, the reservation booking company, business in restaurants in Germany and the U.S. were in the identical place, down over 90 percent year over year. Since then they have diverged widely: data for Aug. 16 (the latest data at this writing) shows German restaurants enjoyed 9 percent more business than last year, before the pandemic, while U.S. restaurants were down around 50 percent.

Market share:

Walmart, Amazon, Target, Home Depot, Lowe’s and Costco accounted for 29.1% of all U.S. retail sales in the second quarter, according to Craig Johnson, president of consulting firm Customer Growth Partners, up from 25.6% in the same period a year ago.

Booms:

New-home sales in the U.S. jumped to the highest level in almost 14 years in July as low mortgage rates helped fuel a suburban construction boom. Three out of four major U.S. regions showed higher sales of new homes in July. Purchases surged 58.8% in the Midwest, climbed 13% in the South and 7.8% in the West. Sales fell 23.1% in the Northeast.

Correlations:

Daily foot traffic to Home Depot stores since April has been running at least 35% above last year’s … “All of the historical benchmarks that we’ve used to think about the business and what the growth in the business would be, like GDP and housing…none of that has a correlation anymore,” Mr. Menear, 63, said in a July interview.

Investment:

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Have a good weekend, stay safe.


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