G.A Wright Annual Retail Trends Report & Business Survey
G.A. Wright Sales Inc, the leader in High Impact Sales Promotions and Store Closing Sales Events for retailers.
National (PRUnderground) October 24th, 2012
Holiday sales look good but gains will not equal increases seen last year. I predict retail sales, not including cars, to be up 4% over the same period last year. In 2010 sales were up 6% from 2011.
Gains will vary by classification. Furniture stores will be up 8% but this is still 10% below the peak year for furniture in 2006. Clothing and accessories will be up 5%. Sporting goods and other specialty stores should be up 5%. This will be a much better holiday than last year for specialty stores with sales equaling the peak year of 2007. Home improvement stores will be up about 1% for the holidays but closer to 5% for the year. Most home improvement gains came early in the year. General merchandise stores won’t see an increase. Electronic and appliance stores will have no increase and this is still 12% below peak sales in 2007. Department stores won’t see a holiday gain. Department stores have been losing ground since 2000.
Online sales compete with brick and mortar and are expected to be up 12% for the holidays. This should bring all non-store retail sales close to 9% of total retail sales. Not only do online sales cut into brick and mortar sales but online shopping continues to provide price competition. Traditional retailers must look for ways to use the inherent advantages of the store to differentiate themselves from online retailers. Examples are the ability to appeal to all five senses, high levels of personal service, and a social environment, personalization of products, tailoring, unique products and private label.
The U.S. Economy
The economy varies by region. I’d like to know how it is in your part of the country so I’ve attached a short survey. Please take a minute to fill it out and send it back in the enclosed envelope. I’ll get back to you with results.
Expect very slow growth to continue. I have anticipated another slowdown next year, after the election when politicians are likely to get more serious about addressing some of the Nation’s economic problems. The Federal Reserve apparently sees the same possibility and has announced a program to keep interest rates low through 2015. They obviously expect slow growth with the possibility of recession unless more stimulus is applied. This is uncharted territory. Who knows what happens when stimulus stops and the national debt needs to be repaid. Higher taxes, big cuts in spending or high inflation are the apparent options.
Although consumer confidence has shown a recent increase it remains well below the level indicated by a healthy economy. An increase in inflation is not anticipated. It should stay in the 2% range until unemployment drops and the GDP growth rate picks up. Unemployment will remain about 8%.
Good news for home furnishing retailers. The Federal Reserve will buy 40 billion dollars of mortgage backed securities per month. This is intended to keep home mortgage rates low. More people refinance or decide to buy a home. That puts money in the system to fuel expansion but, more important to retailers, it stimulates home buying. More homes mean more home furnishing business. Existing home sales in August of 2012 were up 9.3 % from a year ago according to the National Association of Realtors.
What to Do Now!
Take advantage of this holiday season. Attract new customers, gain market share, and generate more sales volume. Although this holiday season will not see as large an increase as 2011 this is likely to be a better holiday season than we’ll see in 2013 and 2014.
Retailers should be cautious going into 2013. Keep inventory levels in check. The next few years will be difficult. We are in for a long period of slow progress and could see some negative surprises along the way. It is the time to put your financial house in order. If you’re overstocked with merchandise, use every opportunity to eliminate this problem.
What about January and February? Customer traffic slows, sales volume drops off and cash flow problems develop. If the sales volume you’ve anticipated for the holidays isn’t realized then please give me a call now so we can start planning to eliminate the overstock and solve cash flow problems before this becomes critical. Now is the time to create a program that will get 2013 off to a great start with increases in both customer traffic and sales. Volume increases of 2 to 3 time normal are common for my clients and this additional cash flow in January and February can solve a long list of problems.
You can receive a detailed guide showing, “How to sell a store quickly, safely, and for the highest possible price” or one entitled, “How to produce big increases in sales volume, attract crowds of new customers, and unlock the hidden potential in your retail business.”
Give me a call now at 303-333-4453 or CLICK HERE to take our Retail Business Survey
About G.A Wright Sales, Inc.
G.A. Wright specializes in Professional Store Closing Sales that can sell all of the inventory and assets of a business quickly, safely and for more than can be obtained by selling a retail business as a going concern. Retailers also refer to these sales as Going Out of Business Sales, Quitting Business Sales, Total Liquidations Sales, and Retirement Sales.
We also provide High Impact Sales Promotion Services that are designed to attract crowds of customers and produce a big increase in sales volume for ongoing retail businesses. These sales are called Overstock Liquidation Sales, Wall to Wall Sales, Emergency Sales, Clearance Sales and Fire Sales.
Sales are conducted by referring a Professional Consultant who acts as an independent contractor working directly for the retailer. These Professional Consultants are Experts that can help plan and manage the execution of High Impact Sales Events or Store Closing Sales.
To determine if a Professional Sale makes sense for a retail store it’s generally helpful to receive more detailed information about G.A. Wright that can be sent via mail and will include Case Histories, Letters of Reference from past clients and an explanation of how we work with Retail Businesses.