Monday, August 26, 2013

Retailers Cautious About Second Half as Sales, Traffic Slow...

Retailers Cautious About Second Half as Sales, Traffic Slow

Recent economic indicators have pointed to a more confident consumer, but retailers aren’t reaping the benefits just yet.

In the last week, a slew of retailers, such as Kohl’s, Target, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Abercrombie & Fitch, have reported weak results and expressed caution concerning the second half, which includes the all-important back-to-school and holiday shopping periods. The only bright spot has been home improvement retailers including Home Depot and Lowe’s, which both reported 10% sales increases.

"We’ve seen a lot of retail weakness, but consumers are spending more on hard goods, including home and TVs and cars, but less on apparel," said Mike Baker, an analyst with Deutsche Bank. Still, there are some inconsistencies, Mr. Baker added, noting the strong performance of TJX Companies, which operates T.J. Maxx. "If the value is there, consumers will also spend on clothing," he said.

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