Facing the most competitive climate in five years, retailers are pulling out all the stops to lure consumers to stores. Holiday sales are critical for retailers, with Nov and Dec representing 60% for full year sales for most stores and as of a week ago 32MM Americans hadn’t even started their shopping.
The Nat’l Retail Federation predicts 2013 sales will grow by 3.9%, driven primarily by a growing population; the average family is pulling back spending 8-10% less. Consumers pulling back are not a surprise for anyone. Confidence numbers have fallen like a knife since Oct as consumers express concern over the future of the economy, stagnant wages and jobs.
Today 65% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, a four point increase from 2012. This year, they are spending on electronics and home goods, but pulling back from apparel and general merchandise purchases. They are making the most of their shopping budgets by planning purchases and carefully seeking promotional pricing. Monica discussed this and more with Stuart Varney filling in for Neil Cavuto.