Shift in Consumer Trends Gives Analysts the Slip

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Jan 17, 2002
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Analysts’ predictions of retail performance during the holiday season were distorted by an inability to grasp a change in consumers’ buying habits, according to marketing consulting firm Consumer Growth Partners LLC. Soft-line merchandise prominent in malls and department stores now accounts for only 29 percent of total U.S. sales among the 25 largest non-food-and-drug retailers, down from 46 percent in 1994, notes Craig Johnson, president. He adds that the difference is going to hard-line merchants such as electronics and home-improvement chains.

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