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Survey Finds Consumers Wary

Written by Ken Gaebler
Published: 6/8/2011

A ForecastIQ analysis predicts increased same store sales for retailers despite low consumer confidence.

A new ForecastIQ analysis predicting increased same store sales for big clothing retailers provides useful insight for small business owners looking to take the pulse of consumer expectations and confidence.

Consumers Wary

ForecastIQ reports that a majority of shoppers expect prices on staple items like denim jeans to go up, which they almost certainly will, as retailers pass on the increased cost of cotton. Dollars earned through sales might therefore go up while retailers' profits will not.

According to the analysis, consumers are bothered by price hikes but many will continue to shop. For June and July, same store sales should be up for retailers ranging from high-end department store Neiman Marcus to the Gap-owned Old Navy.

The report also ties predicted consumer behavior to overall confidence, which is down, and expectations regarding gas prices, which are anticipated to go up by 82.1 percent of those surveyed.

To offset money spent at the pump, 35.2 percent of those surveyed said they will spend less on clothing.

In possible good news for small businesses, 43.7 percent of those surveyed said they plan to conserve gas by shopping closer to home. An opportunity might therefore exist for smaller retailers to win local business. 

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