Weak sentiment during year end

Holiday shoppers are prepared to spend far less compared to the last year. According to a market research by NDP Inc., inflow of shoppers did not decline however most of those who chose to visit the shopping centers spent far less than the last year.

During the month of December the consumer sentiment has gone down to its lowest point since July, a monthly index released this Friday revealed. The average American retailers make up to 40% of their annual business during the Christmas and Thanksgiving holidays but consumers find it hard to get in the mood for shopping amid Washington budget negotiations halt and tragic school gunfire in Newton.

As per data collected by ShopperTrak retail sales which increased 2.7% during the Thanksgiving holiday were down by 4.3% during the week ending 15th December. The Chicago based company forecasts sales in the year ahead could go up to $257.7 billion marking a 2.5% growth which is fairly lower than its initial growth estimate of 3.3%.

MasterCard Advisors’ SpendingPulse recorded $48 billion in online sales which means there was an 8.4% growth since October end. This is far lower than the 17% growth during the preceding 18 month long period, as per cash or credit card spending data tracked by data service.

The Markets sales rack index of BMO Capital showed promotions went up between 2% to 3% over last year’s pre-Christmas weekend, after a 5% decline, earlier in the season. This index tracks breadth and depth of retail discount offers. Retailers tried to cover up by extending open hours and higher discounts.

The Super Storm Sandy that hit the East Coast, Mid Atlantic and Pacific Region of the country in October this year disrupted household lives badly. These areas make up almost 24% of the retail consumer base which is why the impact on total industry sales has been huge. Even the lucrative concessions failed to pull more dollars from the average American household.

Teen retailer Aeropostale located at The Garden State Plaza offered cut the rates on its clothing lines and accessories by 60% of the retail price. Other renowned shoe company Charles David and Cachet offered a 50% discount on all product lines. Clothing retailer AnnTaylor cut a 25% from its clothing line in addition to an overall 50% off on all stocks. Its dresses were marked down to less than 20% of their tag price.

Published by Lisa Ray

Lisa has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Purdue University and 3 years of experience in the publishing field.

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