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Archive for the ‘Retail’ Category

According to an article on MSNBC.com, consumer spending will rise for spring 2010. On March 30, 2010, the Conference Board’s consumer index rose to 52.5 in March 2010 compared to February 2010 index total that was close to 46. According to the article, analysts predicted the index would reach 50 for March and has exceeded their expectations. But, many analysts say that the 50 reading is still considered too low compared to a 90 reading, which is considered healthy.

The article also mentions that merchants are expected to report a 3.5 percent gain for the month of March. The figure stems from sales at stores that have been open for at least a year. How well a store does after its first year, is a key indicator of a retailer’s health.

Read the article, “Consumers Slowly Show Signs of Springing Back” and let NSSEA know your thoughts!

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Gene Schulist, School-Pak, Inc

It’s getting a little rough out here as a small business.

First we have to fight off the big guys, Wal-Mart, KMart, Office Depot, Office Max, Staples, etc. You know you’re not getting the same prices as these guys. Plus, being a small business, you have no clout with insurance companies, elected officials, banks, government bodies, etc.

We just have to weather the storms and keep doing our best because, usually, it’s much better than the big guys.

But here comes one more way to get us.

Have you taken a look lately at what your bank is charging for processing your credit cards? Those rates are way out of line.

Someone used a Visa card? OK, how about 2.4 percent of the sale going back to the credit card company. Wait a minute. They actually used a “Rewards” card? OK, how about 2.55 percent of the purchase price. No, they used a “Rewards” card with their dog’s picture on it. How about 2.62 percent?

Get the picture?

Not only do they charge the customer up to 29 percent interest for their purchase, but they charge you too! So you lose even more on your “sale” price you went to so you could compete against Wal-Mart. Do you think they pay the same rate? Are there aliens walking around Roswell?

Dealing with schools are even harder. 68 percent of every dollar spent at a local store stays in the community. Only 32 percent of dollars spent at Wal-Mart (or other big chain stores) stay in the community. The other 36 percent are on the train to Wal-Mart offices in Arkansas.

The Obama administration is looking at ways to help small businesses. Perhaps finding a way that all businesses are treated equally. I know that people are treated that way under the Constitution (or at least are supposed to be). Shouldn’t small business people be treated that way as well?

That means the same tax breaks, employment laws, purchasing power, price protection, free shipping, etc. should come to us as it does to KMart or Target. I’d love to compete on a level playing ground. How about you?

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An article in Reuters reports that U.S. retailers are expected to post positive October sales numbers this week. The positive numbers are a welcomed change from the numbers reported in October 2008, after the financial market collapsed and numbers fell 4.1 percent. Well-known retailers are also expected to post positive sales numbers.

According the article, many of the top-retail chains will report same-store sales results on Thursday. The overall retail industry is expected to report an overall 1.2 percent rise in sales this month. Retailers are also hopeful that consumers will spend more money in stores and stimulate the economy even further.

Read the article “Good October Retail Sales Numbers Predicted” and let NSSEA know your thoughts!

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Though school bells in some areas of the country have already started to ring, most parents have a lot of shopping left to get kids ready for the classroom. According to NRF’s latest Back-to-School/College Consumer Intentions and Actions survey, conducted by BIGresearch, the average American family had completed only 41.6 percent of their back-to-school shopping as of August 11. In addition, nearly one-third (30.5%) of families with school-aged children (K-12) haven’t even started their shopping. Those who have already begun their shopping said sales or coupons have influenced nearly half (47.8%) of purchases so far this season. And with everything taking a back seat to price this year, shoppers are keeping their eyes open for any and all special savings. According to the survey, 43.4 percent of back-to-school shoppers said coupons influenced them to shop at a particular store. Read More

Sources: The National Retail Federation and Retail Solutions Online

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