Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Tuesday News & Notes

About 20 chains will report monthly same-store sales on Thursday morning. January, the final month of the fiscal year for most retailers, is typically the lightest month of the year in terms of volume (followed by February) - the focus is mostly on gift card redemptions and clearing out holiday/winter inventory ahead of the full roll-out of spring merchandise.

Redbook Research said its Johnson Redbook Index increased only 1.8% in January (relative to a target of a 2.3% gain) and fell 0.6% compared to December (relative to an expected flat reading), as sales rose 1.5% in the latest week.

Redbook said "Clearance should continue to dominate sales activity for several more weeks as old merchandise is moved out and fresh early spring goods arrive. Food and Super Bowl related merchandise sales got a lift this week." The company expects sales in February to rise 2.2% over last year driven by Valentine's and President's Day spending.

The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) reported that its ICSC-GS Index increased 2.6% over last year and 2.4% compared to the prior week.
"The end of the fiscal month and fiscal year posted an up-tick as business was stronger for specialty stores, wholesale clubs, dollar stores and apparel stores, in particular, and steady on a year-over-year basis for most other segments," said Michael Niemira, ICSC's vice president of research and chief economist. "The solid performance at month’s end continues to support that the overall retail industry is improving and showing signs of overall recovery."
ICSC expects chain store sales (excluding drug stores) increased 3% in January, and will also show 3% growth during the full year 2013.

Tuesday's Top Retail & Consumer Reads:
  • How Mobile Technology Will Change the Retail Store (STORES)
  • Cash Strapped, Global Consumers Spent and Saved Less in Q4 2012 (Nielsen)
  • Microsoft to expand retail store presence this year (CNET)
  • Study Highlights Digital Wallet Market Potential and Current Adoption Barriers (comScore)
  • Dime a Dozen: Dollar Stores Pinched by Rapid Expansion (WSJ)
  • Global E-Commerce Sales Topped $1 Trillion for First Time in 2012 (eMarketer)
  • Other People Might Be Selling More on Amazon Than Amazon Does (Wired)
  • Beyond daily deals: How the store next door can reach shoppers online (Internet Retailer)
  • Survey Says: Retail Workers Feel Least Connected To Employers (Consumerist)
  • Americans Are Spending $900 More Per Year On Gas Than In 2009 (The Atlantic)
  • How A New Wave Of Mobile-Social Commerce Has Powered Online Retail (Business Insider)

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