Same Store Sales Outlook Off From a Month Earlier, According to August ForecastIQ® Analysis

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The August ForecastIQ same store sales outlook is off from July, indicating that consumers could be pulling back. Although purchase plans appear to be somewhat upbeat, it could be because of consumers’ expectations for higher costs of goods. But with confidence down, less bullish consumers may lead to a less-than-stellar holiday shopping season.

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Retailer scores show consumers are less bullish.

With back-to-school in full swing and the holidays approaching, you would expect the forecast for retail same store sales to be up. But according to the August ForecastIQ® (a service from Prosper Technologies™), projections through October are off from the previous month, indicating consumers are becoming more cautious. A less bullish consumer isn’t necessarily surprising given that August consumer confidence fell off a cliff—six points from July (20.6% vs. 26.5%).

Although confidence took a nosedive, 90-day spending plans remained somewhat upbeat (which could be attributed to a need to spend more, rather than a want). Every month ForecastIQ™ takes into consideration consumer purchase plans when assigning retailers an overall score of their likelihood to experience growth/decline in same store sales compared to the previous year. Of the 23 retailers tracked, eight are projected to almost certainly see an increase in same store sales over last year, while seven are likely to experience an increase. On the other hand, comparable sales are likely to decline for six retailers and almost certain for one.

A mixed bag of retailers including warehouse clubs, apparel stores, luxury, teenage-goods retailers and department stores are predicted to grow compared to 2010. Value is on the mind of many with BJ’s, Costco, Ross and TJX Stores almost certain to see an increase while Fred’s is likely. The outlook for luxury retailers is positive as well. Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom’s sales are almost certain to increase and Saks is likely. Buckle and Wet Seal are forecasted almost certain growth. Dillard’s and JC Penney are forecasted likely growth in same store sales.    

It appears Gap brands continue to struggle. Banana Republic and Old Navy are forecasted likely decline over last year and the namesake is predicted almost certain decline.

A partial list of retailers covered in the ForecastIQ® and expectations for same-store sales year-over-year growth/decline through October follows:

Almost certain to see increase:
Neiman Marcus
Wet Seal

Likely to see increase:            
Children’s Place
Hot Topic
JC Penney
Victoria’s Secret

Likely to see decline:    
Banana Republic
Old Navy

Almost certain to see decrease:

For complete list of retailers and a complimentary 30-day trial:

About ForecastIQ®
The ForecastIQ® retail model was developed by Prosper® in cooperation with Dr. Greg Allenby. The forecasts of same-store sales are based on consumer purchase intentions and behavior derived from historical same-store sales data of 23 publicly traded retailers and consensus estimates combined with the monthly Consumer Survey from BIGinsight™. The results provide a forecast of consumer spending 75 days in advance. Same-store sales forecasts are provided by percent growth over the next 45 and 75 day periods. Short term forecasts are available by enhanced consensus estimates.

About Prosper Technologies™
Prosper Technologies™ develops software applications that provide consumer-centric analytics to marketers/retailers for better forecasting consumer demand, allocating marketing dollars, tracking consumer behaviors and understanding cross-shopping patterns.

Phil Rist


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