Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Winter Storms Slam Retail Sales, But Do Weak Numbers Point to Bigger Issues?

Old-man winter has cooled consumers to shopping, dampening retail sales of late.
January retail sales, including automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants, slipped 0.4% from December, yet increased 2.6 percent adjusted year-over-year, according to The National Retail Federation, reporting figures released yesterday by the U.S. Census Bureau.
The month-to-month figures are seasonally adjusted for inflation gains from the previous month, while the year-over-year figures are not.
Retailers’ poor January showing reflects more than just lost foot traffic from winter storms, Craig Johnson, CEO of retail consultancy Customer Growth Partners, told Forbes.
“The Department of Commerce numbers amid the snow confirm our forecast that sales are weak – and not just due to weather,” he said.

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Source: Barbara Thau (

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