FINANCE

ShopperTrak lowers holiday sales forecast

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Chicago — A report released by ShopperTrak on Wednesday revealed a downwardly revised holiday forecast indicating a 2.5% year-over-year sales increase.

According to ShopperTrak, although week-over-week numbers improved, year-over-year statistics are stumbling. For the weekend ended Dec. 15, retail foot traffic rose 15.1% week-over-week, and sales increased 16.4% week-over-week.

But, in year-over-year comparisons, foot traffic declined 4.4% and sales declined 4.3%.

“Hanukkah-related shopping helped boost retail sales last week, but many consumers delayed their Christmas shopping — and with good reason,” said Bill Martin, ShopperTrak founder. “They saw 32 shopping days between Black Friday and Christmas, the longest interval possible. However, time is running out and Christmas is less than one week away,” he said.

As a result, said Martin, ShopperTrak is forecasting that the week ending Dec. 22 will experience the largest weekly sales volume of the year. “And Saturday, Dec. 22, will be one of the five busiest shopping days of the season,” said Martin.

Despite this last-minute rush, ShopperTrak now forecasts holiday sales for the months of November and December will increase by about 2.5% over last year — down slightly from the 3.3% increase it projected in September.

ShopperTrak still maintains holiday season foot traffic will increase 2.8% over last year. This represents the first increase in retail foot traffic during the holiday season since the recession in 2008.

Several factors contributed to the company’s decision to lower its forecast, including heavily discounted merchandise and the impact of Hurricane Sandy.

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News

Chain drug association CFO retires

BY CSA STAFF

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ EVP and CFO Jim Huber is retiring after 25 years of service.

He will be succeeded by David Fitzsimmons, who has been promoted to SVP of finance and administration, effective December 21. Fitzsimmons currently serves as VP of finance and accounting.

“As he embarks on his retirement, I thank Jim Huber for his unwavering dedication to NACDS for more than two decades. In planning for a seamless transition and in ensuring successful completion of a host of projects, Jim has provided an excellent example of what it means to finish strong, and now we wish him all the best — we are quite sure he will remain active in many ways,” stated NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson.

In his new role, Fitzsimmons will report to Anderson and will be responsible for all financial and fiduciary operations and policies of the association, including affiliated entities, trusts and investments. He will also be responsible for the preparation of the annual operating budget in concert with the NACDS president, NACDS finance committee and NACDS board of directors.

In addition, Fitzsimmons will manage oversight of the association’s technology-related activities, and will work closely with the member programs and services department to meet financial and strategic objectives.

“With Dave at the helm, I am confident that NACDS’ financial position remains in good hands. His expertise and 29-year career in finance make him an excellent choice to lead the association’s financial activities,” Anderson said. “I am pleased to welcome him into his new role and look forward to working with him to maintain NACDS’ position of strength to meet the association’s objectives in the areas of advocacy, communications and member services for the ultimate good of pharmacy patient care.”

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SUPPLY CHAIN

RILA: Obama needs to take action on port strike

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Arlington, Va. — In a letter sent Wednesday, Retail Industry Leaders Association president Sandy Kennedy asked President Obama to take action to prevent a work stoppage at the East and Gulf Coast ports.

Negotiations on Dec. 18 did not produce a resolution between the International Longshoremen’s Association and the U.S. Maritime Alliance, foreshadowing a shutdown of the Eastern and Gulf ports by the end of the year.

“RILA is extremely concerned about the potential short and long-term consequences to our members, their employees and customers as well as to the economy if cargo is stalled along the East and Gulf Coast ports,” said Kennedy. “If a work stoppage occurs at the end of the month, it will substantially affect the already delicate economy.”

In 2002, the West Coast work stoppage caused an estimated $15 billion in reported losses. Last month, an eight-day work stoppage at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach caused shipping delays for hundreds of millions of dollars in cargo. The 14 ports potentially affected by a strike account for 95% of all containerized shipments offloaded on the Eastern seaboard.

“In order to prevent another prolonged and damaging stoppage, we respectfully request you put the weight of the White House behind resolving this dispute and bringing the ILA and USMX back to the negotiating table,” Kennedy concluded.

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R.Von says:
Mar-16-2013 05:03 am

The action to prevent work
The action to prevent work stoppage is very important. We should do our best to protect the workers from losing their job. - Rich Von Alvensleben

R.Von says:
Mar-16-2013 05:03 am

The action to prevent work stoppage is very important. We should do our best to protect the workers from losing their job. - Rich Von Alvensleben

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