FINANCE

Deloitte: Spending up after several months of decline

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York — A report released Thursday by Deloitte found that consumer spending posted an increase in March, reversing a trend of declines.

The Deloitte Consumer Spending Index climbed higher in March, marking only the third monthly increase over the past 12 months. The Index tracks consumer cash flow as an indicator of future consumer spending.

“The Index turned upward as the pace of declining new home prices slowed,” said Carl Steidtmann, Deloitte’s chief economist and author of the monthly Index. “Despite this improved performance, there is little evidence the housing market is picking up. On the positive side, initial unemployment claims continue to move lower from a year ago.”

According to Deloitte’s analysis, recent developments that indicate consumer cash flow may be strained despite the recent steady increase in real consumer spending include:

Real incomes fell 0.1% in February even as consumer spending rose, and are up just 0.3% from a year ago. The savings rate has fallen from 4.7% to 3.7% over the past two months, adding roughly $110 billion to consumer spending.

Gasoline prices continue to rise. The average price of gasoline rose 4 cents last week to $3.97 a gallon up $0.68 since mid-December.

The Index, which comprises four components — tax burden, initial unemployment claims, real wages and real home prices — rose to 1.80 from an upwardly revised reading of 1.52 the previous month.

“The warmer weather is helping consumers shake off the winter doldrums, but they remain vigilant about their pocketbooks, particularly in the face of rising gas prices this spring,” said Alison Paul, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP and retail & distribution sector leader. “In our third annual spring survey of U.S. households, consumers told us they are feeling slightly better about the economy and their finances compared to a year ago. While 67% indicate they plan to spend the same or more this year, nearly 80% say higher prices could cause them to change their spending in the months ahead. We also found that consumers’ use of mobile and online continues to grow across the board. This suggests that digital channels should be one of retailers’ strongest competitive plays to capture the consumer, particularly those shoppers keeping an eye on their household budgets.”

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C.Floz says:
Nov-30-2012 11:07 am

The most important statistic
The most important statistic I found in the article that really made me smile is the lower unemployment rate. To me, that is really one of the major effect of the decline of the economy. - Markus Lattner

C.Floz says:
Nov-30-2012 11:07 am

The most important statistic I found in the article that really made me smile is the lower unemployment rate. To me, that is really one of the major effect of the decline of the economy. - Markus Lattner

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OPERATIONS

7-Eleven and Cardtronics expand ATM relationship to Canada

BY Staff Writer

Houston — ATM owner Cardtronics said Thursday that it been named the exclusive provider of ATM services to all 7-Eleven convenience stores in Canada.

Expanding on its existing relationship, Cardtronics will soon serve the world’s largest convenience store chain in both the United States and Canada. Cardtronics’ new portfolio of 7-Eleven Canada-located ATMs begins at a machine count of 472, includes expansion rights providing potential for growth and results in Cardtronics serving the world’s largest convenience store chain on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border, including thousands of 7-Eleven stores in the United States.

Cardtronics said it expects to complete deployment of new Cardtronics-owned ATMs for 7-Eleven in Canada this summer.

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Gucci launches mobile POS program

BY Staff Writer

New York — Gucci said Wednesday it has launched its own mobile point-of-sale program at select directly operated U.S., Europe and Asia locations.

Through this program, Gucci is leveraging technology to create a unique customer experience and to better serve clients when they are shopping in its stores.

This technology, developed and customized by Micros Retail, enables sales associates to spend more time on the floor while simultaneously providing clients with support and assistance. Sales associates have been equipped with personal Apple iPhone 4S devices on which they can process sales mobily and wirelessly email receipts to their customers. This service expedites the sales transaction by increasing speed of payment and enhances connectivity between the client and the associate. The devices are also loaded with the Gucci Style app, as well as utility applications such as Google translator, Google Maps and currency converter. In addition, sales associates are able to allow clients to navigate the Gucci digital flagship at Gucci.com.

Patrizio di Marco, president and CEO of Gucci, said: “We have a firm eye on the future and this program confirms Gucci’s strong commitment to new technologies. Not only are we setting new frontiers between fashion and technology," added di Marco, "but we are also further enriching the touch points between our customer and the brand, thus enhancing the in-store experience.”

The pilot program launched at the Gucci Flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City with additional trials at the Paramus, N.J., and Orlando, Fla., locations.

Later this year, the Mobile POS solution will be deployed in 15 U.S. directly operated stores and approximately 30 directly operated stores between Asia and Europe. Additional DOS locations will be rolled out in all regions throughout 2013.

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