Retailers, consumers and prices
Check Out Line: Steady is the new sexy!
Check out the boring but steady holiday-season sales outlook.
U.S. retailers might have reason to celebrate amid the weak economy as a steady holiday season with a gentle increase in sales this year, executives said at the Reuters Consumer and Retail Summit.
That would be a relief after the plummet in sales in 2008 as well as 2009, when stores waited for shoppers to return. But don’t expect a return to the heady days of 2007 either as shoppers are likely to remain cautious through the rest of the year.
“It’s going to be the most boring holiday season we’ve had in quite some time,” said Janet Hoffman, global managing director for Accenture’s retail practice. “(That’s) going to be really good news for many retailers because what they’re going to see is incremental lift in sales.”
At the summit, clothing maker Perry Ellis said it sees industrywide prices on apparel rising 10 percent over the next two years.
Meanwhile, Collective Brands, the holding company for Payless ShoeSource and Stride Rite, is optimistic about back-to-school sales in the United States.
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(Reuters photo of 2009 holiday shopper in New York)