Read the Full Report: 2015 BDO Retail Compass Survey of CFOs

In January of this year, we conducted our ninth annual Retail Compass Survey of CFOs, which asked 100 retail CFOs at leading U.S. retailers about their outlook for the industry in the year ahead. We found that along with optimistic sales projections, retailers provided their most bullish forecast for M&A activity in the survey’s history and expect strategic buyers to be the most acquisitive. Retailers also project modest e-commerce sales growth, and remain focused on fueling that growth by bolstering their online offerings and security with investments in their digital channels and IT systems.

For additional insights into financial metrics, sourcing strategies and top regulatory and tax concerns, be sure to check out the full report.

To access the survey report online, click here.

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With Industry Pressures Come Opportunities for Independent Retail Pharmacies

As with the rest of the U.S. retail sector, the current environment for retail pharmacies is marked by competition, consolidation and challenges to maintain margins. In the midst of an evolving healthcare landscape wrought with the pressures of an aging population and transformative new regulations, the pharmacy space is often dominated by news of the “Big Three”—CVS, Walgreens Boots Alliance and Rite Aid—as well as a handful of other significant big box players like Wal-Mart and Target, which have been increasingly pursuing opportunities to expand their in-store clinics. Continue reading

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How Changes in Joint Employer Liability Could Impact the Franchising Industry

Earlier this week, a series of hearings in the National Labor Relations Board case against McDonald’s Corp began, ushering in what is likely to be a long process of ruling whether the company is to be considered a “joint employer”, and therefore, potentially liable for franchisees’ employment practices.

While the ruling is still up in the air, the case and its outcomes could have significant implications in the franchising space, and both franchisees and franchisors should carefully consider the range of possible ramifications before pursuing large-scale investments, transactions or other business activities. To help shed light on these potential economic ramifications, BDO’s Dr. James Woods and Chris Johnson recently wrote an article in Franchising World that addresses the many uncertainties that those in the industry now face in the run-up to the ruling.

To read their full article, click here.

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Infographic: 2015 Retail Compass Survey of CFOs

What are retail CFOs anticipating as they look to the year ahead? We’re preparing to release our 2015 Retail Compass Survey of CFOs report shortly, complete with a full analysis of the first, second and third round of results.

So far, 2015 has brought weaker-than expected sales gains for retailers. But longer-term growth indicators—including a stronger job market, promising consumer confidence levels and financial market stability—have retail CFOs feeling up about 2015 overall. Those we surveyed anticipate that further increases in consumer confidence levels will propel solid sales gains throughout the year ahead. Meanwhile, they expect the hyper-competitive landscape will prompt more retailers to consider M&A as a growth tactic in 2015.

Before we release the full report, take a look at our latest infographic below, which covers retailers’ sales projections, M&A expectations and considerations around key 2015 digital investments:   Continue reading

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Retailers Target 2015 Investments at Big Opportunities and Big Risks

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been sharing results from our 2015 BDO Retail Compass Survey of CFOs. Key themes have emerged around optimism, growth, M&A and the focus of our latest set of findings: investment.  Continue reading

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With Shifts in Consumer Behavior, Big Box Retailers Are Thinking Outside the Box

One size fits all? For some brands, that may not always be the case. Big box retailers who have historically relied on cost-conscious customers looking for one-stop shopping destinations are now searching for ways to boost their top line as the economy improves and consumer preferences shift away from large, all-in-one shopping trips. Continue reading

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Deals and Distribution Strategies Weigh on Retail CFOs’ Minds This Year

Will 2015 be another big year for deal activity in the retail sector? It may, in fact, shape up to be an even stronger year than 2014, according to the latest results from our 2015 Retail Compass Survey of CFOs. Retail chief financial officers gave their most bullish forecast for deal flow in the survey’s history, with 59 percent projecting an increase in M&A activity within the sector this year. Most CFOs (73 percent) expect that activity will be primarily centered in the U.S., while 15 percent think Asia will be the hottest region. Continue reading

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West Coast Ports – What’s Next for Retailers?

Last weekend, the labor dispute between the Pacific Maritime Association International Longshore and Warehouse Union, which has slowed the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports for several months and crippled them in the past few weeks, came to a close with an inked five-year labor deal. The deal was hard-fought, with pressure from the nation’s largest retail and manufacturing associations, as well as the Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, who met with parties last week and threatened to send them to Washington if they couldn’t resolve their issues quickly. Continue reading

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Retail CFOs Optimistic about 2015 Sales and Consumer Confidence

With solid sales gains at the end of 2014, retail chief financial officers are feeling upbeat about sales and consumer confidence in the year ahead. Preliminary results from our 2015 BDO Retail Compass Survey of CFOs show that retailers forecast a 3.9 percent increase in total sales and a 3.7 percent increase in comparable store sales this year, in line with the recently released National Retail Federation (NRF) projections of a 4.1 percent increase in sales for 2015. What’s more, nearly two-in-three CFOs surveyed expect comparable store sales to increase.  Continue reading

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Private Equity & Retail: A 2015 Outlook

Our recent Sixth Annual PErspective Private Equity study found that when it comes to new investment opportunities, the private equity community may continue to temper their expectations for consumer business deal flow this year. Continue reading

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