Platt Retail Institute, in its analysis of third-quarter results, predicted a slowing of the U.S. economy and warned that this coming Christmas may be less than merry for retailers.
One piece of evidence presented by Platt to support its prediction of a drop in consumer spending — and retail sales — is lack of evidence of new store construction.
Platt noted that McGraw Hill Construction put second quarter retail construction spending growth at 2.5 percent, down from 4.8 percent in the first quarter. Home Depot construction contracts were down 51 percent in the first half of this year, and Target’s were off by 20 percent.
“Therefore,” Platt summarized, “it may be said that if you do not think they will come, do not build them. This seems to be the sentiment of some major retailers.”
On a sector-by-sector basis, Platt reported the following:
Building materials, garden and supply stores: Sales up .6 percent in September
Food and beverage stores: Sales down.5 percent in September
Health and personal care (drug) stores: Sales up .2 percent in September
Clothing and accessory (apparel) stores: Sales up 3 percent in September
General merchandise stores: Sales up 1.1 percent in September
Department stores: Sales up 1 percent in September
Platt Retail Institute is located in Hinsdale, Ill.