Discretionary spending

In this Nov. 9, 2018, photo, Walmart associate Shanay Bishop, left, checks out customer Carolyn Sarpy on the sales floor as part of the "Check Out With Me" program at a Walmart Supercenter in Houston. Walmart, Target and other large retailers are sending workers throughout their stores to check customers out with mobile devices. And at Macy’s, shoppers can scan and pay for items on their own smartphones. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
November 22, 2018 - 8:22 am
NEW YORK (AP) — Retailers will once again offer big deals and early hours to lure shoppers into their stores for the start of the holiday season. But they'll also try to get shoppers out of their stores faster than ever by minimizing the thing they hate most: long lines. Walmart, Target and other...
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In a photo taken Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, Target employee Lindsay Walker scans an item as she collects merchandise from shelves to prep them for an online order at a Target store in Edison, N.J. Target Corp. reports earnings Tuesday, Nov. 20. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
November 20, 2018 - 8:23 am
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Target's ramped up investments online and in stores are bringing in shoppers, but they're bruising the bottom line right now. Company shares tumbled 10 percent before the opening bell Tuesday after Target missed profit expectations for the third quarter, the last look at the...
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FILE- This Nov. 9, 2018, file photo shows a Walmart Supercenter in Houston. Walmart Inc. reports earnings Thursday, Nov. 15. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)
November 15, 2018 - 7:59 am
NEW YORK (AP) — Walmart reported strong sales online and in its established store sales for its fiscal third quarter, and raised profit expectations for the year heading into the holiday shopping season. The report Thursday suggests that efforts by Walmart to improve the experience of its customers...
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FILE- In this Sept. 12, 2018, file photo Apple CEO Tim Cook discusses the new Apple iPhones and other products at the Steve Jobs Theater during an event to announce new products in Cupertino, Calif. Apple Inc. reports earnings Thursday, Nov. 1. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)
November 01, 2018 - 7:16 pm
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple's faithful customers aren't snapping up iPhones quite as enthusiastically as anticipated heading into the crucial holiday shopping season. But the latest models costing $1,000 and more are popular enough to keep propelling profits ever higher for the world's most...
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FILE- In this Nov. 23, 2016, file photo, pedestrians make their way through the arrival terminal as bags are delivered on a carousel at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday in Atlanta. Major airlines including American Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines integrate buy-now-pay-later concepts into their online booking. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)
April 12, 2018 - 11:11 am
Dreaming of a spring getaway with white-sand beaches and a cool drink in your hand? A search for airline tickets can bring your dream down to earth, if the steep fares charged by many airlines outstrip your savings. What if you could book your trip today and pay for it later — without maxing out...
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FILE - This Sept. 20, 2011, file photo shows a box of General Mills' Fiber One cereal, in Philadelphia. General Mills is buying Blue Buffalo Pet Products Inc. in a deal valued at about $8 billion. General Mills Inc. will pay $40 per Blue Buffalo share. That's a 17 percent premium to the pet food company's Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018 closing price of $34.12. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
February 23, 2018 - 1:33 pm
NEW YORK (AP) — The maker of Cheerios also wants to fill dog bowls. General Mills said Friday that it plans to buy high-end pet food maker Blue Buffalo for $8 billion. It's a return to the pet business for the more than 150-year-old company, which used to sell food for cats, dogs and birds back in...
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In this Tuesday, May 9, 2017, photo, a package from Amazon Prime moves on a conveyor belt at a UPS facility in New York. Online shoppers will pay close attention to at least two things this holiday season: shipping costs and return deadlines. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
December 25, 2017 - 10:51 am
Online shoppers will pay close attention to at least two things this holiday season: shipping costs and return deadlines. Nowadays, free shipping during the holidays is more of a requirement than a competitive advantage for retailers, according to Christopher Newman, an assistant professor of...
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December 04, 2017 - 10:36 am
WASHINGTON (AP) — A top Republican senator is defending GOP efforts to reduce the hit to the wealthy from the federal estate tax because it helps those who invest rather than people who spend their money on "booze or women or movies." Seven-term Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, a senior member of the...
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FILE - In this Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017, file photo, people wait in line for a Best Buy store to open for a Black Friday sale on Thanksgiving Day, in Overland Park, Kan. On average, Americans plan to spend more than $550 on gifts for friends and loved ones this holiday season, according to a recent NerdWallet survey conducted by Harris Poll. But budgets are tight. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)
November 29, 2017 - 10:54 am
The holiday season is supposed to be about joy, giving and spending time with our favorite people. But just as you might pack on a few extra pounds over the holidays, you might pack on some extra debt, too. On average, Americans plan to spend more than $550 on gifts for friends and loved ones this...
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November 28, 2017 - 3:29 pm
NEW YORK (AP) — A retail trade group says people who shopped both online and in stores from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday spent more than those who picked one or the other. The National Retail Federation said Tuesday that more than 174 million Americans shopped in stores and online during those five...
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