Facts about the American Retail Industry in 2008
With the price of gas and food rising, you have to wonder how American retailers are fairing in today’s market. Are they holding their own, showing a loss, or are some of them actually showing an increase in sales? Will there be more store closing? Are some of the lesser known retailers seeing growth? Let’s look at some key facts about American retailers so far for 2008.
1. Wal-mart, one of the biggest retailers in the U.S. didn’t make their projected sales growth for January. Some think this is because people in lower income brackets are their main customers, and they are feeling the crunch more than others.
2. Several clothing stores, such as Target, JC Penney, GAP, Limited, and Macy’s actually showed losses for same store sales.
3. Some stores, such as The Home Depot, Sears, and Macy’s are announcing store closings. Even though sales of building supplies rose in April, it’s still slower than normal.
4. Nordstrom reported a 6.6% decline in January sales.
5. Gasoline sales percentages hit a record high, only because the prices have went up.
6. Even with the stimulus package, the expected economic growth rate is projected to be only 1.7% for the third quarter of the year. This is the weakest annual spending since 1991.
7. Tiffany & Company’s same store sells fell 2 % in the United States during November and December of 2007, so they cut there fiscal year outlook for 2008. Higher end stores were seemingly immune to economic strain, but now their consumers are even being more frugal.
8. The National Retail Sales Federation predicts retail sales will increase 3.5 % from last year. The growth will be slow, but they still think people will continue to purchase.
9. A weak housing market has a negative effect on home improvement and home furnishing sales for March 2008.
10. In January U.S. retailers reported the lowest monthly sales in five years.
As you can see, everything is pretty much still up in the air. The debate is still going on as to whether we will end up in a recession or not. It does appear that people are still willing to spend their money. They are just be more choosy as to where they spend it; opting to spend more on food, gas, and groceries, and less on extras such as entertainment, electronics, and clothes.
With unemployment rates high and gas prices soaring, we should all be very cautious about how we spend our money. Think wisely and buy the things you really need first, put some back for savings, and then go shopping for the extras.
*Information and facts taken from Reuters, CNN Money.com, and The National Retail Sales Federation
Low Sales For The Year