U.S. Retailers Forecast a 1.4% Increase in Comparable Store Sales This Holiday Season
CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- According to BDO Seidman, LLP, one of the nation’s leading accounting and consulting organizations, chief marketing officers (CMOs) at leading U.S. retailers expect both overall sales and comparable store sales to increase by 2.6 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively, for the 2009 holiday season. Last year, the retailers included in the BDO Seidman Retail Compass Survey of CMOs predicted that overall sales for the 2008 holiday season would decrease by 2.8 percent – and they were right. According to the National Retail Federation, 2008 holiday retail sales were down 2.8 percent from the 2007 holiday season.
The retailers surveyed do have a positive outlook for the coming year. Sixty percent of CMOs from the top 100 retailers surveyed say they expect to see a meaningful turnaround in the economy by the second quarter of 2010. The vast majority of the retailers (77%) and nearly all of the retailers in the top 100 (85%) predict a turnaround before the third quarter of 2010.
Virtually all CMOs (96%) expect to offer more discounts and promotions this holiday season, which is up from 88 percent last year and 73 percent in 2007. Most of the CMOs (50%) cite that those discounts will take the form of in-store promotions, followed by markdowns (41%) and online promotions (9%). Further, more than half (54%) of the retailers say they have reduced their inventory purchases for the holiday season. Those that reduced inventory did so by an average of 10 percent, reflecting a sizeable decrease in inventories.
“Retailers remain cautious about the 2009 holiday season. While some Chief Marketing Officers have expressed optimism, unemployment is still a major concern and a majority of retailers are planning more discounts and promotions than last year,” said Doug Hart, a Partner in the Retail and Consumer Product Practice at BDO Seidman. “However, retailers’ inventories are leaner going into the 2009 holidays. As a result, we can expect less panic this year - discounting will likely be moderate and more strategic than the deals we saw last year.”