It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas


A study from Capital Business Credit notes that the summer retail season has been relatively week – but all signs are pointing to a very strong winter season, particularly around the holidays.

The report, the Global Retail Manufacturers and Importers survey, comes out four times a year and measures the amount of activity among company’s that supplyAmerica’s retail sector.

Let’s dish up the bad news about the holidays first: 22% of those surveyed said that orders tied to that period are down. 22% — that’s it? That, of course, is not bad, especially compared to the 43% that believe sales will be stronger. Further, 33% have experienced increase in holiday orders and 44% are at least holding par with last year.

Overall, 77% are expecting a stronger winter season that last year.

The kickoff to the fall/winter season is back to school, and the prevailing opinion is that it will be as good as or better than 2011 – 33% say better, 54% say the same.

“Like many other recent economic indicators, we are getting a lot of mixed signals from importers and manufacturers of retail goods,” said Andrew Tananbaum, executive chairman of CBC.  “We do believe there is the potential for growth as we head into the back-to-school and fall seasons.”

The season will have to make up for a sluggish summer season. According to CBC, it is the slowest part of the year anyway, but it came in under expectations. And much of the selling that did occur has been due to discounting, which exerts a negative influence on retailers’ bottom lines.

“We anticipated summer would be stronger than it actually netted out being.  From what we heard from both the manufacturers inChinawe work with, and the importers in theU.S., summer, was a disappointment,” Tananbaum added. “That said, we remain cautiously optimistic for both back-to-school and holiday sales.  Importers are still stocking shelves, factories are still churning out goods, and consumers are still buying.”