I’ll use some of those superlatives myself and say that I saw a shocking headline in yesterday’s WSJ.
“Retail’s Tragedy Averted” the headline read. TRAGEDY AVERTED – ? Oh, really – what tragedy might that have been? Well, as it turns out, it was simply that, because the day before Home Depot had had a disappointing (although respectable) third quarter report, when they heard the news from Target and Lowe’s they were absolutely ecstatic and described the situation in these terms – “retail’s tragedy averted”. Clearly, the journal is letting their junior journalists who write up the stories on quarterly reports also determine the headlines for these stories these days. In my mind a “retail tragedy” would be the closing down of two-thirds of the stores in the country – something like that. But in a millennial’s mind, a tragedy averted is simply the fact that the earnings reports for other retailers (only two, I might point out) were good and not as disappointing (to them) as those of Home Depot’s. I find this rather a twisted use of logic if two retailers reporting their quarterly earnings can be said to have averted a retail tragedy. At any rate, I’ll simply end this piece by advising us all to be wary of letting millennial logic creep into our thinking (and reading) – that is, any further than it already has – otherwise, we’ll all be the chicken littles out in the middle of the road declaring that the sky is falling. And, of course, I’d like to congratulate Target for having worked hard to bring in a 4.5% same-store sales growth versus the 3.6% that had been expected by “analysts.”