Saturday, January 31, 2009

NRF predicts return to growth in Q4

The National Retail Federation predicts that sales will be down 2.5% in the first half of 2009, down 1.1% in the third quarter, but will rise 3.6% in Q4 (compared, of course, to weak sales in Q4 '08).

They also think that retailers have now reduced inventory enough that price-cutting will abate a bit:
"Because of what's happened, retailers are being more conservative with inventory, and so the need to have that panicked price-cutting is lessened," says Wells. And in addition to better inventory management, adds an NRF spokesperson, stores are "trying to be efficient as possible, to do more with less in their advertising, and sometimes changing their merchandising mix."

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