Meet the new U.S. consumer: Online and efficient

|By:, SA News Editor

The reads from major retailers on the spending habits of U.S. consumers varies widely with Wal-Mart and Family Dollar warning on the low-end, while pockets of strength have been seen at department stores, some specialty retailers, and out-performers such as Costco, Kroger, and Starbucks.

The high level of spending on automobiles and big-ticket items has squeezed out some discretionary spending, say analysts

If there's one development that nearly all retailers agree on, it's that store traffic is lower as online and mobile take market share and consumers pivot toward a paradigm of efficient shopping trips from mall browsing.

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