Retailers Expected to Post Weak Sales for September
Another wildcard could be if retailers were able to reap the benefits of stepped up marketing and promotional efforts, news around brand launches and new products.
For example, Macy’snot only stepped up its promotions in September, but it also unveiled its new line of Martha Stewart home products. Kohl’sintroduced the Simply Vera clothing line from designer Vera Wang, and Food Network-branded kitchen products.
The latest round of sales reports will likely weigh heavily on those attempting to gauge the health of the economy.
After a round of disappointing reports in July, retailers bounced back and turned in surprisingly strong sales in August fueled by a late burst of back-to-school shopping. That painted a picture of a still-healthy consumer, but broad-based weakness in September could reignite concerns about a slowdown in consumer spending.
“We have been expecting that we would be seeing greater signs of weakness as we push into the fourth quarter,” said Frank Badillo, a senior economist at Retail Forward KnowledgeBase.
Badillo predicts that by the holiday even the up-market consumers will begin to show signs of slower spending and retailers will react by putting greater emphasis on price cutting.