Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Shopping stays in a slump

January 12, 2009

FINANCIAL/TIMESCheck Out the continued pain in the retail industry.
Wal-Mart’s outgoing CEO, Lee Scott, said Monday that he expects the U.S. economy to remain extraordinarily challenging in the first half of the year and does not see anything that would turn it around quickly.
Scott likely wanted to deliver some brighter news in his swan song. He turns over the CEO post to Mike Duke on Feb. 1. However, the tone at the National Retail Federation’s annual conference in New York this week is likely to be bleak.

ShopperTrak predicted that U.S. retail foot traffic will fall 16.4 percent during the first quarter. The group, which monitors customer traffic, expects retail sales to fall 4 percent during the quarter.

Scott’s comments come just days after Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, posted lower-than-expected December sales and cut its fourth-quarter profit forecast, showing it is not immune to the impact of the recession. Other retailers also issued profit warnings last week.
Also in the basket:

Ruth’s Hospitality unable to meet debt covenant

Domino’s says 9 franchisees filed for Chapter 11

Cheap is chic in U.S. recession, NRF chief says

U.S. retailers lose ground to rivals abroad-Deloitte

(Reuters photo of sign at a Fishs Eddy store in New York in December)


Shopping is going to stay in a slump until we have a reason to buy something… Oh and it better be on sale because were not going to pay full price either!


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