Survey finds Hurricane Sandy has moderate impact on retail supply chain
New York — Importers and manufacturers who sell to America’s major retailers continue to be optimistic regarding a strong fourth quarter and holiday shopping season, according to Capital Business Credit, a non-bank lender that services the retail sector.
According to CBC’s quarterly Global Retail Manufactures and Importers Survey, 74% of importers of retail goods believe the winter/holiday season will be the same or stronger than last year. Of those who believe it will be stronger, the majority estimate that sales will increase by more than three percent compared with last year. Respondents indicated that Black Friday will continue to be the busiest shopping day of the season with Cyber Monday and the day after Christmas tied at a distant second.
"Importers continue to be optimistic about the most important quarter in the retail calendar," said Andrew Tananbaum, executive chairman at CBC. "It appears that retailers are purchasing and selling more merchandise than in 2011, which is not only encouraging for the sector but for the overall economy."
When asked if Super Storm Sandy will impact holiday retail sales in general, 50% indicated that it would have no impact and a third indicated it would have a negative effect. However, for November specifically, Super Storm Sandy will have a negative impact on 45% of importers’ businesses.
Other Super Storm Sandy data includes:
- A little less than half of respondents did indicate that Sandy has made it more difficult to ship goods (44%).
- A third (32%) said that it may decrease the number of re-orders retailers place to replenish fall merchandise.
"It appears that Sandy was not as catastrophic to importers’ businesses as it has been to other industries," Tananbaum said. "As importers and retailers no longer overstock merchandise, the storm’s impact was less devastating than it could have been. However, we do suspect that some companies may have lost merchandise that was in their warehouse."
Tananbaum continued: "While respondents did indicate that it has been more difficult to ship goods, they have not reported major problems or bottlenecks at the ports where their merchandise arrives. We consider this very lucky."
Chase has finger on the holiday pulse
WILMINGTON, Del. — The retail industry is awash with forecasts and projections during the holidays, but a near real-time indicator from Chase reveals how shoppers are actually behaving.
Data culled so far from Oct. 29-Nov. 15 shows that this year’s holiday season is off to a lively start, with year-over-year e-commerce sales volume up 12.3% and in-store growth up 1%. Based on figures so far, retailers are already offering early sales and promotions, jumpstarting consumer spending. Transactions so far are likewise showing a positive trend with year-over-year growth at 25% and 2.2% for online and in-store, respectively.
The seventh annual Chase Holiday Pulse is a comprehensive near real-time tracker of holiday shopping trends, which will be updated on Chase’s website (http://pulse.chasepaymentech.com/) every business day. It provides data tracking sales volume, payment transactions and average ticket value from 50 of the leading U.S. online retailers. Data is tracked and compiled by Chase Paymentech, a leading merchant acquirer, payment processor and subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase & Co. For the first time since its inception, the Pulse will also provide Chase cardholder spending data at brick-and-mortar stores.
“The holiday shopping season has always been a critical barometer for economic activity,” said Eileen Serra, CEO of Chase Card Services. “A strong start to the holiday shopping season typically sets the tone for sales volume for the remainder of the year.”
Early indicators point to a continued decline in e-commerce average ticket size, down 10.1% year-over-year. In-store ticket sizes saw a smaller decline, down 1.1%. This is consistent with last year’s Chase Holiday Pulse, which demonstrated a new trend in spending habits, wherein sales volume rose while average ticket prices declined.
For e-commerce purchases, sales growth is up 27.2% for consumer electronics and up 32.5% for mass market, which comprises large e-retailers providing affordably priced products such as electronics, apparel, furniture and jewelry. For in-store purchases, sales growth is 12% for sporting goods and up 5% for wholesale clubs.
“The improvement in October’s University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment over last year’s reading leads us to believe that holiday sales (over November and December) should rise by as much as 4.5% (on a year-over-year basis) versus last year’s 3.3% figure,” said Anthony Chan, head economist for JPMorgan Chase. “Additionally, the recent rise in housing prices and the healthy (year-to-date) jump in U.S. equity prices are likely to put downward pressure on U.S. savings rates and thereby provide some support to holiday sales this year.”
Report: Best Buy open to considering lower bid
New York — Best Buy is open to considering a lowered bid from founder Richard Schulze, according to the New York Post.
The report, citing sources close to the company, suggested the chain is now open to a bid of around $20 per share.