The Retail Strategic Outlook

Last fall I attended the 2009 Strategic Outlook Conference in New York, held by Retail Forward. I took away four key insights. The economic revival—luxury will lag. The country is on the verge of recovery, predicted Frank Badillo, senior economist at Retail Forward, but it will come in stages, with sales of high-ticket discretionary goods and services lagging. Short-term growth will be fueled by lean inventories, pent-up demand, and sales of food and drug staples. Badillo predicted a 1 percent increase in retail sales for the fourth quarter of 2009, a 3 percent increase for 2010, and 4.5 percent growth for 2011. He said mass, specialty, and non-store (online) retailers would be the winning channels, and department stores and regional malls would lag as value-based shopping becomes the “new normal.” The budget boomer. Lois Huff, Retail Forward's

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