Consumers Predicted To Not Break The Bank On Back-To-School Shopping This Year

As retailers aim to get ahead of the class by offering consumers back-to-school specials now, they still may not make the grade when it comes to sales for what is known to be the second largest selling season of the year. According to the NRF’s recently released Back-to-School Spending Survey, sales may struggle. The survey reveals that U.S. consumers are expected to spend about $68 billion on back-to-school and back-to-college items this year, down 9.3 percent from $75 billion last year. Continue reading

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BDO Retail RiskFactor Report Reveals Leading Risks for Retailers In 2015

What risks have the 100 largest U.S. retailers concerned? According to our ninth annual Retail RiskFactor Report, which analyzes the 10-K filings of the 100 largest U.S. retailers, strategic growth is a leading concern despite upbeat sales projections, strong consumer confidence levels and a host of other positively trending economic indicators. Continue reading

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The Omnichannel Influence on Retail Deals

Organic growth for many big retailers is a thing of the past. Instead, they are seeking out more partnerships and acquisitions that will enhance omnichannel retailing. A recent article in Women’s Wear Daily highlights this trend, noting that the bulk of M&A activity going forward will likely stem from bolt-on acquisitions (technology platforms are one hot area) and brand extensions, in particular major brands shifting into the off-price sector. Continue reading

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Top Posts of Q2 2015

As the first half of 2015 comes to a close, we wanted to provide a quick recap of our top blog posts.

In the past three months, we shared our thoughts around the leading risks concerning retailers, employee wages and shifting consumer behavior, among other top-of-mind issues for the retail community. Continue reading

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Using Authenticity to Attract Unpaid Brand Ambassadors

Last month, we had the pleasure of attending and sponsoring the annual Imperial Capital Consumer Summit.  A key theme discussed throughout the event was the need for retailers to evolve in response to consumer behavior. Ultimately, staying competitive in today’s environment requires that players more effectively engage with and form long-lasting and powerful connections with their customers. Between technological shifts such as mobile and in-store analytics, and demographic influences, including millennial shopping behaviors, retailers face new challenges and opportunities when it comes to fostering engagement with consumers. Continue reading

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Understanding the Electronic Payments Alphabet – Part Three: Mobile Technology and Devices

Earlier this year, we discussed Europay MasterCard Visa (EMV), the new method for issuing and accepting face-to-face card transactions that aims to reduce card fraud. In the third and final part of this electronic payment technology series, let’s shift the focus to Near Field Communications (NFC, or “Tap to Pay”).  Continue reading

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Retailers’ Economic & Security Concerns Evolve

As we highlighted last week in our infographic, retailers’ chief concerns related to the economy are changing.
 
Our annual analysis of the top risk factors cited in the 100 largest retailers’ annual filings unpacks the key economic concerns retailers point to. This year, we found that interest rates (cited by 88 percent) came in as the most frequently cited economic concern for the second year in a row. The risk topped concern over fuel prices (cited by 83 percent) and unemployment (cited by 73 percent), which have been retailers’ most noted economic risk for much of the study’s nine year history.

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Infographic: 2015 Retail RiskFactor Report

As retailers pause and consider top risks that could impact 2015 operations and sales, what’s weighing on their minds? This year’s 2015 Retail RiskFactor Report found that retailers’ modestly optimistic performance outlooks also bring concerns about how they’re strategically investing capital and executing overall business and growth initiatives. Meanwhile, they remain focused on the inherent exposures associated with various general economic shifts and challenges. Continue reading

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Retailers’ Top Risks Signal Questions around Avenues for Growth

As many retailers report earnings this week, analysts will be looking for guidance around what’s behind the slower-than-expected start to the year in retail sales. Despite lower gas prices, stronger consumer confidence and a host of positively trending economic indicators, consumer spending has been fairly steady. In this backdrop, retailers are increasingly unsure about how to strategically invest for growth in the new U.S. retail marketplace. Continue reading

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Consumer Conundrum: Solid Confidence Gains Collide with Cautious Spending

Since the start of the New Year, a curious situation has been baffling retailers. After hitting pre-recession levels in January, consumer confidence wavered between February and April, but maintained a healthy 95.2 on the Conference Board Index last month, well above its 2014 mark. So far, however, this cheerier consumer sentiment has hardly translated into more robust sales. Continue reading

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