National Retail Federation Reports Strong Thanksgiving Holiday Sales

According to NRF, the National Retail Federation, one-third of consumers shopped online this past holiday weekend, leaving two-thirds in stores to take advantage of the many discounts and sales available nationwide. Early reports indicate that retail sales are 8.7% above last Thanksgiving weekend. It’s hard to tell whether this Black Friday’s success is a clear indicator of upcoming holiday sales through Christmas. We’ll have to wait and see. Be sure to check back here for additional updates on retail sell-through over...

Retailers Make Changes as Consumers Emerge from the Recession

Retail sales are likely to increase 2.5% this year, according to data from the National Retail Federation. As consumers begin spending again, merchants are working to position themselves as strong survivors of the recession. “Retailers are following through on their strategy to get their houses in order during the recession so they are positioned to be strong players as the recession ends,” said NRF Vice President Dan Butler. “Whether it’s technology, product assortment or sustainability, they’re asking themselves, ‘How can we be smarter about meeting the needs of our customers quickly?’ ”...

Retailers will Increase Use of Online Vehicles to Promote Black Friday

Retailers use Web to drive in-store traffic on retail holidays like Black Friday reports NRF. Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving and the Friday before Cyber Monday, which is the Monday following Thanksgiving. According to a recent survey, 39.1% of retailers will increase their use of online vehicles to promote Black Friday which makes sense because one in seven Black Friday shoppers determines where to shop based on their web...

Holiday Sales Expected to Drop 1% in 2009

While Holiday Sales are expected to drop 1% in 2009, it is still a marked improvement from the 3.4% drop in 2008. Hopefully the smaller decline in holiday sales is an indication that retail sales have bottomed out and the market is slowly stabilizing, if not recovering. Overall, 2009 retail sales are expected to be down 3%. NRF defines “holiday sales” as retail industry sales in the months of November and December. Retail industry sales include most traditional retail categories including discounters, department stores, grocery stores, and specialty stores, and exclude sales at automotive dealers, gas stations, and restaurants. For many retailers, the holiday season can represent anywhere between 25-40 percent of annual...

‘Carryback’ Legislation Would Help Struggling Retailers Survive Holiday Season

Some retailers could be forced to lay off workers or close stores unless Congress moves quickly to pass “net operating loss carryback” tax legislation that would give them the cash they need to buy inventory for this year’s holiday season. “Because retail sales have fallen so dramatically over the past year and access to capital has been so limited, retailers are struggling to find the cash they need to operate their businesses as the economy moves toward recovery,” NRF Vice President and Tax Counsel Rachelle Bernstein said. “If struggling retailers cannot finance inventories for the 2009 holiday season – their greatest opportunity for revenue for the year – they could go out of business. Extension of the NOL carryback period would provide an important source of capital to finance ongoing operations and retain employees. If NOL carryback is not enacted soon, tens of thousands of additional retail jobs will be lost.” Congress needs to pass H.R. 2452, the Net Operating Loss Carryback Act, sponsored by Representative Richard Neal, D-Mass., chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee’s Select Revenue Subcommittee. Under the legislation, businesses suffering losses during 2008 or 2009 would be able to “carry back” those losses to offset profits from up to five years ago. The companies would then receive tax refund checks that would provide an infusion of cash to help keep doors open and workers on the payroll. Losses can already be carried back for up to two years, but in the current economic climate some companies have seen low profitability for several years. The five-year carryback period was included in the $787 billion economic...