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Report: Retailers see 2011 as year of growth


Chicago -- Consumer confidence in the retail industry is up almost 20% since 2009, according to Aon Risk Solutions, the global risk management business of Aeon Corp.

Aon's 2010 U.S. Retail Industry Report, along with survey results from Aon's 2010 Retail Symposium, found that many retailers will focus on growth in 2011. This top priority is closely followed by the objectives to increase profitability, control costs, provide business continuity and stabilize operations.

Also in 2011, the U.S. retail sector is expected to perform in line with the overall economy, according to Aon's Retail Industry Report. However, employment in the retail sector has fallen 7% since August 2007 and 0.3% since August 2009.

"The retail industry is still recovering from the economic slowdown, but our industry report and symposium findings confirm that growth is just around the corner," said Len Churnetski, COO of Aon Risk Solutions' national casualty brokerage.

"In 2011, nearly 60% of all retail HR departments are expecting the same or higher conversion rates of seasonal employees to full-time employees compared to 2010," said Patrick Tomlinson, senior VP for Aon Hewitt. "This conversion rate is typically a good indicator of retailers' expectations for the new year."

Aon's 2010 U.S. Retail Industry Report, authored by Aon Analytics, noted that the retail industry remains stable to competitive in terms of insurance coverage provided and policy enhancements available, including workers' compensation, general liability and property.

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