Boom, Boom, Goes the Retail Business
By George Anderson
The retail business, as they say, is booming. Retailers across the nation are expected to post monthly and quarterly sales results this week, and some analysts are looking for better than previously estimated results.
Wal-Mart has already signaled that its June numbers will come in higher than expected. Over the weekend, the retail giant announced that sales for stores open at least a year would be up 4.5 percent. The company previously had set estimates in the two to four percent range.
The Wal-Mart numbers are significant because the retailer said it was more successful in June at selling higher ticket merchandise and was not dependent on food for its improvement in performance. It said there was strong demand for seasonal merchandise and electronics in its stores.
Separately, an article in The Chicago Sun-Times citing a report by the consulting firm of Melaniphy & Associates said retail sales in Chicagoland were up 3.5 percent last year with home improvement (+13 percent) and apparel and accessories leading the way (+8.2 percent).
John Melaniphy III, the publisher of the report, said, “The rise in specialty apparel sales was significant, given that most of it was delivered by regional shopping malls.”
Moderator’s Comment: Do you see an improvement in the overall retail business environment? To borrow from The Chicago Sun-Times, what do you see
as driving the current retail boom?
John Melaniphy attributed the improvement at retail in the Chicago area to a number of factors including “low interest rates, mortgage refinancings and
a favorable income tax environment.” –
George Anderson – Moderator