February Retail Sales Up, Best Month Since 2007

According to the Retail Owners Institute (ROI): “Retail sales results for February have come out, and two major tracking services – Retail Forward and the International Council of Shopping Centers – report that comp store retail sales rose at least 3.7% in February: “their best monthly gains since the economy began its meltdown in November 2007.”

What do reports such as these mean to independent retailers? Especially since they are reporting results of major national chains.

First, they provide a benchmark against which to measure your own stores’ performance. How were your February sales? You now have some context for assessing your own progress.

Second, it provides insights into how consumers are feeling. Maybe “Frugal Fatigue” is in fact becoming more prevalent. For the 90% of the population that still have their job, they may be gaining some confidence that it is okay to spend.

Third – and perhaps most important – the financial community is reading these reports as well. Bankers and the credit departments of your vendors should be encouraged by these positive signs. In your discussions with them, be sure to have armed yourself with the most recent perspective on consumer confidence.”