ICSC's survey of chain store sales trends has been released. The survey of 33 retailers shows a decline in same-store sales of 2.1 percent. However, many retailers seemed satisfied with the results. According to the report (membership required):
Despite the outwardly weak performance on a reported basis, many retailer comments reflected a better tone to the sales performance in March. The better tone was due to
several factors--two of which were calendar related. Calendar-month reporting firms (such as destination Maternity) noted that there was more Tuesday and one less Saturday this March
compared with March 2008.
Retail Forward's numbers are a bit stronger. The retail consultant has numbers from 40 retailers and its research indicates same-store sales fell 0.8 percent.
The New York Times has more.
The goodfor March, retail analysts said, is that not every retailer was in free fall — which is what appeared to be the case during the holiday shopping season. Still, the word of the day is “caution.”
The prospect of a recovery, analysts at Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said, is being hindered by the rise in the average duration of unemployment and in the number ofworking part time for economic reasons.
“I think we're six-plus months away from settling into recovery,” said Matthew F. Katz, a managing director in the retailing practice of AlixPartners, a reorganization firm. “We still have to flush out everything that happened to us, and we're just not there yet.”