Luxury products showing a rebound

Discounters and off-price stores were the real winners in 2009 as bargain-hungry shoppers gobbled up inexpensive clothing and sale items. Meanwhile, luxury goods were pariahs, stuck on shelves as well-to-do consumers re-evaluated their stock portfolios and played it conservative. But that scenario could be turned upside down this year. With the Dow Jones industrial average up around 25 percent over last year and businesses expecting modest growth, affluent shoppers are feeling confident and venturing back into stores such as Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue, picking up designer sweaters, pants and dresses again.

“We started to see the luxury segments show better performance at the end of the holiday season, and I suspect that will be the area that will be the strongest in 2010, in part because that was the hardest hit during the last recession,” said Michael Niemira, chief economist and director of research for the International Council of Shopping Centers. Luxury goods will see stronger recovery starting in mid-2010. “It is part of a cyclical story,” Niemira said. “You may end 2010 where JCPenney and Sears and Target are doing a lot better, but you might see a softening in the dollar stores. That type of rotation will play out as the economy improves.”

In general, Niemira said, the retail year for everyone will be choppy in January and February, gradually picking up speed and starting to hit its stride in the third and fourth quarters of this year. The ICSC predicts that chain stores will experience a 3 percent to 3.5 percent increase in sales this year, compared with a 2 percent decline in 2009.

ADG&A believes that optical retailers should be encouraged by this trend toward luxury but that it is too early to move away from their efforts to establish more value in the products they are selling.

Source: California Apparel News.net

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About Arthur De Gennaro

My friends call me Art. Welcome to my blog. In this space you’ll find information and comments on the ophthalmology world, the optical industry, the hearing industry and medical practice management. My intent is to provide information you can use to improve your business and your own performance. Please visit often and feel free to join the discussions by leaving comments.

You can learn more about me and my consulting company, Arthur De Gennaro & Associates, LLC by visiting my web site www.adegennaro.com

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January 2010

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