Sales at Wal-Mart, Macy’s hint at two consumer realities - The Washington Post
"When assessing how Americans are feeling about their economic well-being, there are a couple of powerful indicators to consider: Macy’s and Wal-Mart.
Although lots of other companies represent pieces of the economic picture, those two retailers sell a broad variety of household goods for nearly the full spectrum of consumers. Upper-income folks are more likely to shop at Macy’s — which also owns the tonier Bloomingdale’s — while lower-income shoppers often depend on Wal-Mart.
Right now, the two companies are telling us something that’s been apparent for a while but is growing clearer month by month: The wealthy in America seem to be doing all right, but everybody else remains very cautious."