Blog: April sales as good as it gets?
Leonie Barrie | 9 May 2008
There was a mix of good news and bad news for retailers in April after many sales reports bucked recent downward trends – as expected – but analysts warned not to get their hopes up.
The good news was that following a dire March, when an early Easter and unseasonably cold weather helped keep consumers away from stores, April was a definite improvement. Warmer weather helped encourage purchases of spring and summer fashions, as did seep discounting to help shift merchandise.
The bad news, however, is that most consumers are still sticking to bargains or basics, as they contend with rising gas and food prices and the ongoing housing downturn. But while this is benefiting discount retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores, department stores and mall-based apparel specialists are suffering heavy losses.
Some analysts are now suggesting that April might be as good as it gets for many retailers this year, and that while cash-strapped consumers continue to seek out bargains, weak to slow growth may be the best they can expect.
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