Sunday, August 9, 2009

Is the Retail Recession Nearing An End?

We’re through another season of earnings reports from the major retailers and there appears to be a bit of light at the end of the tunnel. Most economists are starting to predict a recovery from the recession, but there still exists many differing opinions on when and how rapidly the recovery will happen - such is the nature of economics!

Retail Forward released new data on Thursday regarding July same store sales. Declines in retail same-store sales (excluding Walmart) persisted for the month, but there were encouraging signs as shoppers ease their tight rein on spending plans.

Sales-weighted same-store sales (excluding Walmart) held roughly steady at -4.6% in July for the 32 retailers - most of them apparel retailers - reporting monthly results. That was about the same as the 4.7% decline last month, but down from the 1.8% gain in July of 2008 for the same composite measure calculated without Walmart. Including Walmart, same-store sales were up 2.8% in July of 2008.

“Shoppers are not yet ready to spend freely, but the results reported by retailers provide some signs that shoppers are easing up on their cutbacks. And that’s especially encouraging given the variety of factors weighing on retail sales in July,” said Frank Badillo, Senior Economist at Retail Forward.

Read the entire report at

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