Tag Archives: retail sector

The latest consumer news




There has been some relatively good news regarding consumer spending lately…consider these tidbits: The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index which had declined in July, improved moderately in August — source. We did not see a significant decrease in back-to-school spending despite the continued concerns over the economy — source. There is strong evidence that firms who are focused on their core customers continue to prosper — source. The demand for lawn and garden consumables like fertilizers, pesticides, growing media, seeds, mulch, etc. are expected to increase by 3.4… Read More →




Forecasting retail sales via satellite




From Mark Perry’s blog Carpe Diem: “As part of a growing trend among hedge funds and Wall Street firms, Cold War-style satellite surveillance is being used to gather market-moving information.  The surveillance pictures are often provided by private- sector companies like DigitalGlobe in Colorado and GeoEye in Virginia, which build and launch satellites and take pictures for US government intelligence agency clients and private-sector satellite analysis firms. That means there are two links in the chain before the satellite data gets to Wall Street—a satellite firm takes the… Read More →




Pent-up demand showing up strong




From the WSJ today: U.S. retail sales surged in March, topping expectations and giving a strong sign consumers are growing more confident the economy is improving. Retail sales leaped by 1.6% last month, the Commerce Department said today. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast a 1.3% increase. The gain was the biggest in four months.  Robust car sales drove the much of the better-than-expected increase in retail sales. Yet excluding the automotive sector, other retailers were strong as well. Clothing stores, for instance, saw sales jump… Read More →




Olympic-sized Update




I had a few folks comment that my last post was perhaps the most negative that they had seen on Making Cents (given my tendency to try to find the silver lining in most cloudy situations), but remember, I was quoting Bill Kirk who is the CEO of Weather Trends International. I did so because Bill and the folks at WTI have an amazingly accurate track record of forecasting retail sales based on their weather models. So after the February retail report actually showed same-store retail sales actually… Read More →




Nine Olympic-sized Hurdles For February Retail SSS




From Bill Kirk of Weather Trends International: There is a growing avalanche of bad news for overall February 2010 retail industry same-store-sales. Results are announced March 4th – here are 10 reasons why they will likely come in much lower than the +2% to +3% expectations on Wall Street: 1. Snowmageddon! February national snowfall will be off the chart and likely to crush all records for the snowiest February in 115 years. It’s tough to convince consumers to make Spring purchases when snow is all we see. THIS… Read More →




American Consumption and the New Normal




American consumer attitudes about how we think about and spend our hard-earned dollars are undergoing the biggest change since the end of the Great Depression and World War II. As in the 1940s, we now find ourselves in a moment of turbulence, confusion, and new beginnings. Heading into a new year and a new decade, we’re starting to get an idea of what our “new normal” may look like for consumers. At the end of… more, click here




Do price increases reflect value?




An interesting article appeared in Advertising Age this week regarding Restoration Hardware’s latest pricing strategy. Hint: It’s all in the marketing! Click here.




Home centers down but optimistic




Home improvement retailer The Home Depot, Atlanta, GA, reported sales for the second quarter ended August 3, 2009, were $19.1 billion, down 9.1% from the prior year period. Profit declined 7% to $1.12 billion. “Concerns about the housing market, rising unemployment and softness in the overall economy continue to pressure consumers,” CEO Frank Blake said. “Our business performed well in a down market, we captured market share and drove operating productivity. The combination made for a solid quarter relative to our plan.” Lowe’s reported net income of $759… Read More →




Retail sales up slightly




Today’s report indicates that advance monthly retail sales in June 2009 increased 0.6% from May but declined 9.0% from June 2008, to $342.1 billion. Excluding autos, June retail sales rose 0.3% from the prior month but declined 7.9% from the prior year. Some might consider this a dead cat bounce given that the increase was almost entirely due to the combination of a 2.3% rebound in motor vehicle sales and a 5.0% price-related surge in sales at gasoline stations. “On the whole, this was a decidedly mixed report… Read More →




In like a lion, out like a lamb




My friend, Dean Chaloupka, offers the following commentary on the spring season: Talking with growers around the country, most did very well through the peak of the Spring 2009 season and have seen sales drop off during June. Depending on what part of the country you are in, this could be viewed as significant (North) or not (South). I won’t go into the economic factors which contibuted to the industry fairing well through most of the Spring but will touch on a couple which growers and retailers should… Read More →