While retail sales in the U.S. this holiday season are "on the road to recovery," it's still shaping up as the second-worst holiday season in 42 years.
Same-store sales nationwide rose slightly in February from January, Retail Forward said Thursday, based on the reports of 35 retailers who have reported sales. The positive figure of 0.4 percent compares with the 1.4 percent drop reported in January.
Same-store retail sales in May posted a 3.2 percent rate of growth, with sales buoyed by the first arrivals of tax rebate checks. That’s according to figures released Thursday by TNS Retail Forward, which based the numbers on about 40 participating retailers. “Shoppers are counting on those tax rebates for everyday spending and even a few big-ticket purchases,” the group’s senior economist, Frank Badillo, said as part of the release. “The retail numbers suggest those dollars are starting to have an impact that should last for several months as more shoppers get their rebates.” The group’s accompanying “Shopperscape” survey also found that only
Federal tax rebates will give retail sales a significant boost in the next two quarters, predicted TNS Retail Forward, a management consulting and market research firm focused on the retail sector. The company expects retail sales to improve by as much as three percent in the third quarter and about 1.5 percent in the second quarter. TNS Retail Forward estimates households will spend up to $42 billion of the $105.7 billion tax rebate total at retail stores from May until the end of the year, with most of the incremental retail spending occurring in the third quarter. Year-to-year growth for the second
December same-store sales growth weakened to .2 percent from the prior month and from the prior year for about 50 retailers recently reporting monthly results, TNS Retail Forward reports. December’s result is down from a 3.5 percent sales-weighted composite reported last month and down from the 3.2 percent composite reported in December of 2006. “The retail numbers leave little doubt that shoppers are in belt-tightening mode,” said Frank Badillo, Senior Economist and Director of the Retail Forward KnowledgeBase. “No part of retail spending is immune right now. From stores to online retailers and lower income to higher income shoppers, there are