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Expectations for the Future

BY Robert Gordman

The May comp-store-sales trends indicate little change from the past 90 days. Retailers that understand what their customers want and provide it are doing well and the others struggle.

In an effort to provide a more predictive tool, The Gordman Group has developed the Retail Trend Tracker. Rather than report only on historical trends, this new tool will provide some forward-looking indicators. This month, the Trend Tracker reflects an Internet-based, national survey conducted with 500 consumers from May 31 to June 1.

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The survey compared consumers’ spending behavior during the past three months to their anticipated behavior during the upcoming three, breaking down the results by household income and also by chain.

Income: With regard to household income results, it is interesting to note a positive bias, with percentages increasing among those who plan to spend more, or at least spend the same amount. However, the survey results suggest that consumers who are the most well off (household incomes of $50,000 or more) plan to cut back spending going forward, while lower-income consumers seem more willing to spend. The data indicates that higher-income consumers, who have continued to spend may be changing their behavior over the next few months.

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For example, only 6% of respondents in the over $75,000 group said they plan to spend more in the next three months, while 37% of consumers with incomes of $30,000 to $39,999 said they plan to spend more.

The Consumer Spending by Retail Chain chart shows the “Spend More/Spend Less” behavior by retailer. It should be noted that a deeper analysis of the data indicates that core customers, defined as a retailer’s loyal customers, appear to be spending more at their favorite stores, and opportunistic customers, defined as those who only periodically shop at a store, are spending less. Since most retailers have more opportunistic customers than core customers, the numbers are weighted negatively.

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To view the complete Trending Report, go to www.gordmangroup.com

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Survey: Businesses want to go green, but afraid of costs

BY CSA STAFF

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. According to a survey of 2,500 business professionals by Office Depot, half of all respondents are interested in making their offices “greener.”

While 50% of those surveyed said they’d like to have a greener office, more than half (55%) said they did not associate going green with saving money.

According to Yalmaz Siddiqui, director of environmental strategy for Office Depot, There is actually a range of cost scenarios that a business could face when deciding to go green, he explained. Some choices, like remanufactured cartridges, cost less; some require an upfront investment but come with long term cost savings, like compact fluorescent lights; some products entail no price difference; and some green ideas do cost more. The trick is to understand the different options and not assume that going green will always result in higher costs.

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Toys ‘R’ Us to be exclusive retailer of ‘Soul Bubbles’ Nintendo DS game

BY CSA STAFF

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. Toys “R” Us will be the exclusive retailer of Soul Bubbles, a new game for Nintendo DS created by Eidos Interactive.

“Creative and refreshing, Soul Bubbles is a unique game that DS owners won’t want to miss,” said Robert Lindsey, evp of sales and marketing for Eidos Inc. “This is a charming story combined with gameplay that pushes the capabilities of the Nintendo DS is sure to engage all puzzle gaming fans.”

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