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Retail same-store sales excluding Walmart increased 2.7 percent last month as sales growth inched up despite the effects of a sluggish stock market and changing shopper patterns, according to Columbus, Ohio-based Kantar Retail, a global retail insights and consulting business. Leading the pack were the food, drug and mass retailers reporting, which posted stronger-than-average results.
The sales-weighted composite for all 30 retailers reporting — mostly apparel puveyors — is an improvement from the 1.2 percent same-store sales gain in April, which was muted by the impact of an early Easter. The May result is a little below the 3.0 percent to 3.9 percent trend for the composite that was emerging before the Easter-affected months. The same-store sales measure excludes Walmart, which ceased posting monthly results in April 2009.
“These results provide some sign that the retail recovery will persist despite wealth declines, economic uncertainties and shifting shopper behavior,” noted Kantar senior economist Frank Badillo.
For further information on retail same-store results, visit www.retailforward.com/retailintel/samestr_sales.pdf.
According to Kantar’s monthly ShopperScape survey, the percentage of consumers who said they’re better off in terms of their investments fell to 23 percent in May. That was five percentage points lower than in April, although the May percentage is still up considerably from last year. Meanwhile, shoppers’ view of their household financial health in the areas of job security, household income levels, credit card debts, payments on mortgages and cars improved or held nearly steady.
Despite a still rocky economic landscape, Father’s Day may give June sales a boost, Kantar predicted, noting the 11 percent of ShopperScape respondents planning to spend somewhat or much less for Father’s Day this year is the smallest share since 2007, the year before the economic meltdown. Further, 6 percent of respondents plan to spend somewhat or much more for the occasion, a slightly higher percentage than a year ago.
The ShopperScape survey is conducted online among a nationally representative sample of 4,000 U.S. primary household shoppers. This month’s survey was conducted during the last week of May 2010.