210 Days

This is the current legal deadline for retailers in Chapter 11 to decide which stores to close and which to keep open. The limit was one of several changes made to the U.S. Bankruptcy code in 2005. According to a report on Bloomberg.com, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) is introducing a plan to lift the limit, a move strongly opposed by the International Council of Shopping Centers. ICSC, a trade association in New York, says the limit gives landlords greater flexibility in filling vacant spaces.

The National Retail Federation, however, favors repeal of the limit. The association says one in five American workers is employed in the retail industry—from the executive office to the sales floor—and it’s critical to preserve those jobs.

According to the Bloomberg report, those who favor reversing the limit say it prevents bankrupt retailers from restructuring because creditors mindful of the deadline press for quicker sales of companies and assets, making liquidation of a going concern more likely than restructuring if a buyer can’t be found quickly.

S&P Retail Index

Retail stocks got a significant bounce on Wall Street March 11 after Citigroup reported it had operated profitably in the first two months of 2009. According to a report in Women’s Wear Daily, the S&P Retail Index logged a 7.7 percent gain the day the Citi news came out and followed with a 1.7 percent increase the next day. While the second-day retail performance was dwarfed by the initial jump, it still tracked ahead of the overall Dow Jones Industrial Average, which increased only 0.1 percent that day, said WWD.

18%

U.S. Household Wealth, 2008

In dollar figures, this equals approximately $11.1 trillion. Losses are concentrated among the affluent, who tend to own more stocks and bonds; home values—the primary asset for many Americans—declined only 4 percent. But the affluent are responsible for a disproportionate amount of spending relative to their population numbers, and with their wealth decreasing they’re less inclined to shop.

SOURCE: NEW YORK TIMES

0.2%

Weekly chain store sales edged up 0.2 percent the first full week of March, according to the Weekly Chain Store Sales Snapshot. On a year-over-year basis sales declined 0.9 percent.

SOURCE: INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF SHOPPING CENTERS AND GOLDMAN SACHS

11%

2008 Shopping Center Sales per Square Foot (Non-Anchors)

SOURCE: INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF SHOPPING CENTERS

4.62%

Indian Gem and Jewelry Exports, April 2008–Feb. 2009

SOURCE: INDIA’S GEM AND JEWELLERY EXPORT PROMOTION COUNCIL