Retailers, consumers and prices
Retailers eye some expansion in 2010
After their abysmal 2009, nearly half of all U.S. retail chains plan on at least maintaining their number of stores this year, according to a survey released on Thursday by consultancy KPMG and industry group the National Retail Federation.
Far more retailers were planning to open stores than close them, according to the survey of 310 retail industry executives, representing 138 companies, conducted late last year.
Anecdotally, those intentions seem to be playing out, based on what we’ve been hearing from CEOs on conference calls and webcasts.
Most companies have said they plan to open new stores this year, or were at least considering it. Tiffany, for example, is planning to open another 17 locations worldwide in 2010 (it now has 220). And Saks is opening more of its off price Off 5th stores but is closing its Portland store and could shut others.
Another sign of easing pressure on U.S. retailers: their plan to up spending on the technology which allows them to gather crucial information on their shoppers and their habits. More than 67 percent of respondents said customer database and data mining will be a priority this year. That may be just one small factor why investors are so bullish on the tech sector again.