Big Retailers Bullish About 2014 Sales

Chief financial officers at America’s leading retailers expect sales will rise 5.1 percent this year, a strong show of faith in the economy, according to the eighth annual BDO Retail Compass Survey.

They also expect comp sales to rise 4.8 percent.

“With consumer confidence gaining momentum, retail CFOs are relatively bullish about 2014 retail sales,” said Doug Hart, partner in the Retail and Consumer Products practice at BDO, in a statement. 

Other findings: 

– A majority of retailers—56 percent—expect consumer confidence will continue to rise this year. Still, they remain wary about the job outlook, with 39 percent of retail CFOs citing unemployment as the top factor influencing consumer confidence.

– In spite of all the publicity about retail layoffs, 55 percent of CFOs said the number of company employees will stay about the same this year, while 40 percent say they will increase staffing levels.

– When asked what promotions worked last holiday, CFOs singled out free shipping and email and social media promotions. The least successful: extended hours and price matching. 

– Some 46 percent of CFOs expect average employee compensation will increase this year; 54 percent said it will stay about the same.

JCK News Director