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Holiday Outlook Gloomier After Weak October Sales
Christina Cheddar Berk
November 6, 2008
Retailers are reporting some of the weakest sales in more than a decade as consumer spending dried up in October amid the uncertainty brought on by the financial crisis and mounting layoffs.
With the disappointing results coming on the back of dismal sales in September, the outlook for holiday sales is growing gloomier.
“The October retail environment was simply awful with a high degree of uncertainty around the financial markets, consumers put off any discretionary spending resulting in exceedingly weak October sales results,” said Michael P. Niemira, chief economist and director of research at the International Council of Shopping Centers.
Although the sales decline in October was only slightly below ICSC’s estimated range, the group trimmed its holiday forecast to the low end of its forecast range.
“As such, we anticipate that industry sales will grow by 1.0% for November and December combined with tougher comparisons for November and an easy comparison for December,” he added.
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