NRF projects retail decline in 2009

Washington – For the first time since it began projecting annual retail sales in 1995, the National Retail Federation today forecast a sales decline for the year: The retailer trade association estimated sales in 2009 will decrease 0.5% compared to 2008.

The estimate excludes sales of automobiles, gas stations and restaurants.

NRF chief economist Rosalind Wells emphasized during a press conference earlier today the analysis is contingent upon fairly swift passage of an economic stimulus package. Failure to pass such a package – or a lengthy delay – would result in even sharper sales declines this year, she said.

“This downward cycle will not be easy to break,” said Wells, who noted consumer spending accounts for 70% of the gross national product. “We’re counting on the government to be the engine of recovery.”

NRF expects sales declines of 2.2% in the first quarter compared to the first quarter of 2008, then declines of 2.8% and 1.1% in the second and third quarters, respectively. The association forecast a sales increase of 3.4% in the fourth quarter.

The luxury and home categories are likely to be hardest hit this year as consumers focus on food and consumables. Discounters, off-pricers and warehouse clubs should benefit from consumers’ penurious shopping habits, said Wells. “Online will do better than brick-and-mortar stores, but even they will feel the impact,” she said.

Research Store

Featured Video

Subscribe to
Home Textiles Today eDaily
Receive the news you need to know about the trends in the industry delivered right to your inbox.


HTT November 2017 cover

See the November 2017 issue of Home Textiles Today. In this issue, we look at Complex Colors, Complex Times--Trend forecasters and interior designers weigh in on 2018 palettes and motifs.  Other articles include: Data: Exclusive HTT soft window research; Innovation: Material Changes conference preview; Country report: India invests in the future and Fabrics: Showtime preview.  See details!