FINANCE

BDO survey: U.S. retailers forecast 2.9% increase in total holiday sales

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Chicago — Results of a survey released Wednesday by BDO USA found that chief marketing officers at leading U.S. retailers expect a modest 2.9% increase in total holiday sales this year.

This is a less optimistic point of view compared to the projected 3.5% increase in 2010 (and the actual 5.2% increase reported by the National Retail Federation). Overall, 41% of CMOs expect an increase, down from 2010 (52%) and 2009 (47%). However, CMOs at the top 100 largest retailers included in the sample are more optimistic, with 67% expecting an increase in overall holiday sales.

Survey findings showed that retailers also fear another year of excessive discounting and markdowns to clear inventory. While 23% say they have increased inventory purchases for the holidays, the vast majority (65%) say their inventory purchases have stayed about the same compared to 2010. Overall, CMOs expect inventory levels to be up by less than 1% (0.7%) – a far cry from the 2.8% increase projected in 2010. Most CMOs (52%) also say they’re making no change in SKUs. Overall CMOs project SKUs to be down slightly (-0.2%), meaning less variety for consumers.

“With a weak jobs outlook and the economy still in flux, most retailers are not expecting big sales increases this holiday season,” said Doug Hart, partner in the Retail and Consumer Product Practice at BDO USA. “However, larger retailers appear to be more confident that their greater purchasing power and resources will allow them to be more competitive in this environment. Across the board retailers are dialing back the recent trend of expanding merchandise offerings, and are instead looking for a signal of recovering consumer spending before making big inventory investments.”

Some of the major findings of the BDO Retail Compass Survey of CMOs include: holiday same-store sales are projected to increase 2%. More than half (54%) of retail CMOs project flat same-store sales, and just 37% expect an increase.

The majority – 58% — of CMS say that consumer electronics will be the strongest performing category this holiday season, followed by toys (16%), apparel (11%), home goods (10%) and lifestyle goods (5%).

Of retailers who sell gift cards, 57% expect an increase in gift card sales this holiday season, a notable jump from 2010 (47%) and 2009 (32%).

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OPERATIONS

U.S. households to spend $497 on holiday gifts

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York City — The Conference Board reported Wednesday that U.S. households are expected to spend an average of $497 on gifts this holiday season. Just 7% of consumers said they plan to spend more on holiday gifts this year, while approximately 40% plan on spending less than last year.

“As the holiday season approaches, we once again find consumers in a frugal mood,” says Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. “With the overwhelming majority of consumers expecting to spend the same or less than they did last year, it’s not surprising that they expect a large share of their purchases to be on sale or discounted.”

Consumers will be heading to the malls and online searching for bargains. Four out of 10 holiday shoppers say they expect more than half of their purchases to be on sale or discounted. An additional three out of 10 expect a quarter to half of their purchases to be discounted, according to the survey findings.

Close to two-thirds of consumers expect to purchase a portion of their holiday gifts online, with about 15% saying more than half of their gifts will be purchased online.

The survey of holiday gift spending intentions was conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen.

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REAL ESTATE

Last Call by Neiman Marcus to make California market debut

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Ontario, Calif. — Last Call by Neiman Marcus will open a first-to-market store in May 2012 at Ontario Mills, a Simon-owned property that is the largest outlet and value retail shopping destination in California with more than 200 stores.

Last Call, which will occupy almost 21,000 sq. ft. in Neighborhood 6, will be a lead component of the second phase of redevelopment at the outlet destination. It will join other outlet stores including DKNY Company Store, Lacoste Outlet, Calvin Klein, Polo Ralph Lauren Factory Store, Tommy Bahama Outlet, Coach Factory Store and more.

Other recent store additions include Rockport Outlet Store, Puma Outlet and Ghirardelli Chocolate. Plus, G by Guess, and the first-in-market Under Armour Factory House are scheduled to join the retail mix later this year.

An expanded Aeropostale is now open, along with an expanded Burlington Coat Factory, which increased from 80,000 sq. ft. to 112,000 sq. ft., and Forever 21, which grew from 13,000 sq. ft. to 54,000 sq. ft.

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May-15-2013 07:32 am

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B.Low says:
May-15-2013 07:32 am

J Gateway has full and unique facilities, which includes a guard house, clubhouse, children's playground, swimming pool, Aerobic/Yoga room, piano room, pool room, indoor gym, hydrotherapy beds, hydrotherapy baths, reading room, function room, onsen, jacuzzi. J Gateway

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B.Low says:
May-09-2013 06:58 am

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B.Low says:
Mar-28-2013 03:52 am

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Jan-07-2013 01:19 pm

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B.Low says:
Jan-03-2013 04:56 am

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