11/05/09

The consumer spending deep freeze begins to thaw

Same-store sales for 30 retailers increased 2.3% in October, Retail Forward reports, marking the second consecutive month in which retailers increased same-store sales over a year earlier.

Zak Stambor , Managing Editor

 

A bit of light glimmers through the October same-store sales that retailers are reporting this week, according to analysis by consultants Retail Forward of sales at 30 retailers. And that little glimmer also shows up in Retail Forward’s monthly consumer survey.

Same-store sales for the 30 retailers increased 2.3% in October, Retail Forward reports. October is the second consecutive month in which retailers increased same-store sales over a year earlier. In September, same-store sales grew 0.9%. In October a year ago, same-store sales were down 3.8% year over year.

“October again showed positive signs from shoppers, although the improvement was less even among retailers compared with the back-to-school months. Households remain focused on shopping for needs and this kind of cautious shopping behavior will restrain the sales improvement we can expect in the coming months," says Frank Badillo, senior economist at Retail Forward.

Other positive signs, according to Retail Forward’s October ShopperScape monthly survey of 4,000 U.S. primary household shoppers:

Increased spending is not yet materializing, however: only 9% of shoppers plan to increase their near-term spending compared with 8% a year ago.

 

Caution continues to rule, according to the ShopperScape survey:

For holiday shopping, shoppers are wary about spending more than last year, but more shoppers are planning to spend the same as last year and fewer are planning to cut back:

Those intentions, however, are fluid as 42% don’t know how much they will spend on gifts this year and 20% don’t know how much of their budget they’ve spent so far.

 

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Topics:

Consumer behaviour, Online shopping, same-store sales, Shoppers Drug Mart, Shopping

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