The latest column released by Chain Store Age contributor Jeff Green suggests that increases at the gas pump and a warmer-than-average winter could dampen consumer confidence and negatively impact sales.
Well, 2012 is certainly off to a wild start. While there’s been nothing quite as dramatic and earth shattering as last year’s tsunami in Japan, there are plenty of global events and outside influences affecting our industry.
A report released Thursday by the National Retail Federation, which expanded on earlier news by the U.S. Commerce Department, showed that warm weather, reduced gas prices and strong Father’s Day promotions helped power retail sales for the 12th consecutive month and past Wall Street expectations.
In its most recent consumer sentiment and behavior survey, Technomic, the Chicago-based food industry research firm, found that 84% of consumers believe that grocery prices have risen in the past three months and 62% believe restaurant prices have risen.
A report released Tuesday by First Data Corp. found that, despite tough comps and a late Easter, March 2011 same-store consumer spending by credit, signature debit, PIN debit, EBT cards and checks at U.S. merchant locations showed a steady uptick.
Shoppers plan to wait until next year and beyond to spend generously again, a survey on Monday showed, in an early sign that rising gasoline prices could make the spring selling season tough for retailers, Reuters reported.
Retail sales in February rose in most categories ranging from clothing to furniture, despite winter storms and rising gas prices, MasterCard Advisors' SpendingPulse, which tracks spending in all forms including cash.