Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: April showers bring May shoppers


Apple Store rainy iPad launch dayCheck out the recent rise in U.S. sales.

U.S. chain store sales rose 3.3 percent last week versus a year ago, according to new data from Redbook.  The sales were also up 0.8 percent in May so far versus April, Redbook’s figures on general merchandise retailers with about 9,000 U.S. stores showed.

That’s a bit brighter than the 0.5 percent rise in April same-store sales we saw last week, based on 28 chains.

Meanwhile, consumers are getting tech-savvy about their food shopping.  Deloitte said that more consumers are turning to their computers to look for deals on food.  According to the firm’s 2010 Consumer Food Safety Survey, 33 percent of people have signed up to get emails, recipes or coupons from food makers, a 6 percentage point rise from just two years earlier.

Deloitte found that food shoppers also feel the quality of store, or private label, brands is better.  Fifty-five percent of those surveyed said they are buying store brands because they believe the quality is comparable to national branded foods, up 14 percentage points from 2008. Six percent even said the quality is better than national brands.