Friday, August 14, 2009

You Know Things Are Getting Bad ...

... when retailers expect slower sales during the back–to–school shopping season — and, as a consequence, another dismal holiday shopping season.

But that is what Stephanie Rosenbloom is reporting in the New York Times. Rosenbloom says stock analysts expect same–store sales to drop 3-4%. And the National Retail Federation predicts that the "average family with school–age children" will spend 8% less than last year.

The article points out that much of the savings may be from coupons so not all of the decline is due to fewer transactions in stores. But, thanks to internet sales, that will certainly be part of it. And the decline in business could lead to job cuts in some places.

I don't know if the recession is about to end, but I do know that if American parents aren't sacrificing everything necessary to make sure their children are fashionably dressed for the start of the school year, consumer confidence has taken — and continues to take — quite a beating.

It is, as Rosenbloom observes, "yet another sign that consumers are clinging to every dollar."

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