The holiday retail numbers are out and they aren’t good (but I didn’t have to tell you that).
What started out as an unattainable 2.2% gain as projected by the NRF. I personally we were going to be flat at best. And then it went to a 1.2% decline and the actual numbers came out 2.7% down to last year. Other sobering statistics:
- Six months of straight decline
- November was adjusted downward to a 2.1% decline in sales
- The worst holiday shopping season since 1969
- Auto sales are down 22.4% vs. a year ago
- Excluding autos, retail sales were down a record 3.1%
Even Wal-mart reported smaller gains than expected.
THE REAL WORLD RETAILING TAKEAWAY
It doesn’t get any more sobering than this.
Analysts and retail CEOs have chimed in saying they don’t believe the retail climate was going to change until the latter half of 2009. Wal-Mart Chief Executive Lee Scott told the National Retail Federation gave the same prediction at their annual conference.
If everybody’s saying it, does that make it true?
Most likely – we haven’t seen a downward trend like this in a long time. And the longer the duration of the downward trend, the longer it’s going to take to crawl out.
Batten down the hatches – it’s going to be a rough ride.