March More Like a Lamb for Retailers

Belying March weather across much of the country, the National Retail Federation’s Retail Executive Opinion Survey for February showed a rise of 5.3 points in the Retail Sector Performance Index, to 55.6. The RSPI, which measures evaluations of monthly sales, customer traffic, average transaction per customer, employment, inventories and the six-month sales outlook, had declined for the previous four months in a row. The RSPI scale runs from 0.0–100, placing 50.0 at normal.

Customer sales and traffic in particular increased in February, causing the current demand index to rise to 59.2, a jump of 13.8%, while the pricing index rose 15 points to 40.0. Inventory and employment, combined under the category of operations, stayed the same at 52.5. NRF president and CEO Tracy Mullin attributed the improved figures to retailers’ successful February clearance strategies. “Retailers appear pleased with their pricing strategies for spring,” says Mullin, “and [they] are encouraged that consumers are heading to the stores in larger numbers.”

More upbeat executive confidence is also reflected in the increase of the demand outlook, which measures the six-month sales outlook) to 55.0, although that figure a year ago in February 2004 was at 68.7.

Partner Content

The Gift of Wow: Preparing your store for the holiday season - Netsuite
Being prepared for the holiday rush used to mean stocking shelves and making sure your associates were ready for the long hours. But the digital revolution has changed everything, most importantly, customer expectations. Retailers with a physical store presence should be asking themselves—what am I doing to wow the customer?
3 Critical Components to Achieving the Perfect Order - NetSuite
Explore the 3 critical components to delivering the perfect order.
Streamlining Unified Commerce Complexity - NetSuite
Explore how consolidating multiple systems through a cloud-based commerce platform provides a seamless experience for both you, and your customer.
Strategies for Maximizing Mobile Point-of-Sale Technology - NetSuite
Learn the top five innovative ways to utilize your mobile POS technology to drive customer engagement, increase sales and elevate your brand.