Monday, November 05, 2012

Retailers expect solid Holiday Season

by Bill McBride on 11/05/2012 04:54:00 PM

On Sunday I noted that October seasonal retail hiring gives a pretty good hint about holiday retail sales, see Retail: Seasonal Hiring vs. Retail Sales

The WSJ reports today: U.S. Retailers Expect Best Holiday Season Since 2007

Leading U.S. retailers expect a 3.7% increase in holiday same-store sales, according to a new survey by BDO USA.

“While we haven’t returned to pre-recession levels of optimism, retailers are gearing up for what looks to be a promising holiday season,” said Doug Hart, partner in the retail and consumer product practice at BDO. “Still, consumers have more choices than ever, and retailers are looking to avoid showrooming by curating a mix of exclusive and top-selling products to get consumers in their door or on their site.”

BDO said despite uncertainty about how the presidential election will affect the economy and consumer spending, the expected increase marks the survey’s most optimistic forecast since 2007, when marketing heads projected a 5% increase in same-store sales.
However Hurricane Sandy might have a negative impact, from the NY Times: A Storm-Battered Supply Chain Threatens Holiday Shopping
In addition to shutting down shipping terminals and submerging warehouses, the storm also tangled up deliveries because of downed power lines, closed roads and scarce gasoline in parts of New York and New Jersey.

The supply chain is backing up at a crucial time, just as retailers normally bring their final shipments into stores for the holiday shopping season, which retailers depend on for annual profitability.

“Things are slowing down,” said Chris Merritt, vice president for retail supply chain solutions at the trucking company Ryder. “This whole part of the supply chain is clogged up.”
But overall I expect a decent holiday shopping season.