January 29, 2009, 12:00 AM

The battle for consumer dollars will remain tough into 2009, the NRF says

The National Retail Federation is predicting a 0.5% decline in retail sales in 2009 from 2008, with the biggest challenge in the first half, when it is expecting a 2.5% sales drop.

The retail world will remain challenging in the year ahead, but a slight recovery in the fourth quarter is possible if the federal government’s economic stimulus package is successful, predicts the National Retail Federation, a retailer trade association.

For the year, the NRF is projecting a 0.5% sales decline (excluding automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants) from last year, with the biggest challenge in the first half, when the NRF is predicting a 2.5% sales decline vs. a year ago.“There will be some improvement in the third quarter with sales decreasing 1.1% . In the fourth quarter, sales are expected to improve 3.6% due to easy comparisons to last year as well as a strengthening economy,” says NRF chief economist Rosalind Wells. “Shoppers will be seeking value and trading down to discount and off-price retailers in order to stretch their purchasing power.”

Wells’ expectations of a strengthening economy in the second half are based on the adoption of an effective federal government stimulus package. “The forecast assumes a swift and substantial economic recovery package,” Wells tells InternetRetailer.com. “If that does not occur, the recovery could be delayed.”

comments powered by Disqus

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

From IR Blogs

FPO

Deepak Agarwal / E-Commerce

Back-to-school insights from a Top 100 online retailer

It’s the second-largest online shopping season, and one nomorerack.com CEO pays close attention to. Here ...

FPO

Kevin Sterneckert / E-Commerce

The ghost economy: an $800 billion retail data disconnect

A new twist on a classic holiday story that online retailers will relive in the ...

Advertisement