Blog: Leonie BarrieWinter chill

Leonie Barrie | 9 November 2007

The outlook is bleak for many US retailers after the weather and economy took their toll on October sales. But is this all setting the stage for a lacklustre holiday season, which often accounts for more than a quarter of annual sales for many retailers?

Market watchers are understandably cautious. The International Council of Shopping Centers said despite a 1.6% rise in October retail sales, it was the worst October in 12 years. And Retail Metrics, a firm that tracks monthly same-store data, said: “There is virtually no momentum coming out of September and October as we head into the thick of the holiday shopping season.”

SpendingPulse, meanwhile, the retail data service of MasterCard Inc unit MasterCard Advisors, calculated that US apparel sales rose 0.2% in October, with a 1.5% rise in women’s apparel helping to offset a 1.2% drop in men’s wear.

So it perhaps says a lot when the only crumbs of comfort for retailers come from the fact that things weren’t even worse.


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