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Retail Consulting - National Retail Bulletin - J.C. Williams Group - February 2009

Retail Consulting - National Retail Bulletin - J.C. Williams Group - February 2009

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Published by Maris Daugherty
This report profiles commercial sales activity in the U.S. based on the Advance Monthly Sales for Retail Trade and Food Services collected by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Conference Board in the United States. The report compares the latest monthly release of "raw" (i.e., unadjusted for seasonality, holiday, and trading day differences) commercial sales figures to those in the same calendar month of the previous year.
This report profiles commercial sales activity in the U.S. based on the Advance Monthly Sales for Retail Trade and Food Services collected by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Conference Board in the United States. The report compares the latest monthly release of "raw" (i.e., unadjusted for seasonality, holiday, and trading day differences) commercial sales figures to those in the same calendar month of the previous year.

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Published by: Maris Daugherty on May 29, 2009
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U.S. Data Advance February 2009 Retail Sales
 
i
 
Released March 12, 2009
 
Gloomy February reflectsmonthly sales drop
Considered the most depressing month of the year, the consumer confidencereflected the sentiment by falling -13points from last month, to settle at 25points for February. The positive aspecthere is that typically, February claims thelowest sales volume during the year.All Stores sales were down -12.3% for themonth and -10.3% year-to-date; excludingMotor Vehicle and Parts Dealers andGasoline Stations, All Stores retail saleswere down -4.7%.While consumers have been focused on job retention, debt reduction and lifestylemaintenance, the consequence is a slowdown in sales of even seemingly immunecategories. Food and Beverage Storeswere down -2.9% and Health andPersonal Care Stores were down -0.4%.As consumers continue to trade down, allretailers will be looking for ways toprovide increased value.Double-digit deceleration in growth wasseen for categories linked to the housingmarket. Building Material and GardenEquipment Stores were down -14.9%;Sales at Furniture and Home FurnishingStores fell by -14.8%.Electronics and Appliance Stores also fellby -4.9%. Despite the gloom and doom,retailers like Best Buy are turning theeconomic downturn into investmentopportunities for their brand; jumping onthe eco-band wagon with eco-perks, they
 
are offering gift cards to consumers whorecycle certain, old electronic products.General Merchandise Stores also saw aslowdown this month as sales dropped-1.3%. Walmart, soaring above itscompetition, reported same-store sales up5.0%.Department Stores fell by -8.7%. J.C.Penney and Macy’s comparable same-store sales for February were down -8.8%and -10.9% respectively. As consumersopted to spend less, gain more andessentially trade down, some retailersnoticed the signal. Nordstrom plans toopen 13 new locations, 10 of which willbe their discount store, The Rack.Growth of Clothing and AccessoriesStores continued to slide as they fell-6.5%. Gap reported a sales reduction of -12% for its February same-store sales.During a month where the fear and realityof unemployment, dismal news andweather all have a profound impact onconsumer mindsets, merchants will needto get back to retailing basics. Outlined inthe next section, are our ‘words
 
of wisdom,’ to help retailers strengthen theirgame.
 
Release Date of the NextNational Retail Bulletin:
April 14,
 
2009
 
Retailing sanity – top tips
John Williams, senior partner and founderof the J.C. Williams Group provides thefollowing important tips for retailers.These tips have stayed true through time,pulling retailers out from the bottom andbringing some to the top.1.
 
Manage your inventory aggressivelyon a day to day basis to keep your cashposition healthy2.
 
Ensure that merchandise basics arealways in stock 3.
 
Don’t cut back on store presentation.Shopping is as much about emotion asnecessity.4.
 
Keep appropriate quantities of fresh,new and innovative products to keepon the leading edge of change5.
 
Ensure staffing service levels arebalanced to the in-store traffic flow6.
 
Follow the 80/20 rule: pay attention toyour best customers7.
 
Re-examine the role of your privatelabel in order to build it up, both in theshort and long term8.
 
Retailing is a multichannel experience;multichannel retailers are reaping therewards. Get in on the game
Please note:The J.C. Williams Group National Retail Bulletin compares the latest monthly release of “raw” (i.e.,unadjusted for seasonality, holiday, and trading day) retail sales figures to those in the
same calendar month of the previous year 
. The U.S. Census Bureau also reports seasonally adjusted sales that arecompared to the
 previous month within the current calendar year 
to measure change in Gross DomesticProduct (GDP). Although other sources use seasonally adjusted figures, J.C. Williams Group believesthat using raw figures and making comparisons to the previous year’s performance more accuratelyreflects the seasonality of the retail industry, and therefore, are more useful in analysis. Definitions canbe found on the U.S. Census Website:www.census.gov.
350 West Hubbard St. Ste. 240, Chicago, Il. 60654 Tel: (312) 673-1254 Fax: (312) 822-9162 Website: www.jcwg.com
 
For more information, please contact Jim Okamura at (312) 673-1254, John Archer (416) 921-4181, or e-mail info@jcwg.com
 
Release Date: 3/12/09
Retail Sales by Store Category
Sales for the Month of February200920082009/2008
All Stores305,943348,876-12.3%Motor Vehicle and Parts Dealers51,52070,240-26.7%Gasoline Stations23,93436,789-34.9%Food and Beverage Stores44,03445,351-2.9%
Grocery Stores39,58240,970-3.4%
Health and Personal Care Stores20,00420,078-0.4%Building Material and Garden Equipment Stores18,54721,783-14.9%General Merchandise Stores43,62244,205-1.3%
Department Stores (excluding leased departments)13,22814,490-8.7%
Clothing and Accessories Stores15,07816,128-6.5%Furniture, Home Furnishings, Electronics and Appliance Stores15,94517,679-9.8%
Furniture and Home Furnishing Stores7,5208,822-14.8%Electronics and Appliance Stores8,4258,857-4.9%
Sporting Goods, Hobby, Book and Music Stores5,7336,024-4.8%Miscellaneous Store Retailers8,2539,025-8.6%Nonstore Retailers24,24525,942-6.5%
NATIONAL RETAIL BULLETIN
Food Services and Drinking Places35,02835,632-1.7%
 Year to Date Sales Ending February200920082009/2008
All Stores624,162695,827-10.3%Motor Vehicle and Parts Dealers104,011137,080-24.1%Gasoline Stations48,86574,703-34.6%Food and Beverage Stores92,75292,3320.5%
Grocery Stores83,80883,8130.0%
Health and Personal Care Stores40,90740,2971.5%Building Material and Garden Equipment Stores37,57643,689-14.0%General Merchandise Stores87,00686,2570.9%
Department Stores (excluding leased departments)25,92927,902-7.1%
Clothing and Accessories Stores28,95330,587-5.3%Furniture, Home Furnishings, Electronics and Appliance Stores32,26935,369-8.8%
Furniture and Home Furnishing Stores15,24117,680-13.8%Electronics and Appliance Stores17,02817,689-3.7%
Sporting Goods, Hobby, Book and Music Stores12,86313,073-1.6%Miscellaneous Store Retailers16,72818,278-8.5%Nonstore Retailers50,44953,599-5.9%Food Services and Drinking Places71,78370,5631.7%
Source: US Census Bureau. All Values are expressed in millions of US dollars and are not seasonally adjusted
350 West Hubbard St. Ste 240, Chicago, Il. 60610 Tel: (312) 673-1254 Fax: (312) 822-9162 Website: www.jcwg.comFor more info, please contact Jim Okamura at (312) 673-1254, John Archer at (416) 921-4181, or e-mail info@jcwg.com

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