Discounts can’t prevent retail pinch

Marketplace Staff Mar 21, 2008

TEXT OF STORY

Doug Krizner: The stock market says more about the future than the present. As the saying goes, think of it as a barometer, not a thermometer. And while Wall Street is trying to look past recession, Main Street is just starting to deal with it. Retail sales are falling — but some stores are doing better than others.

This week, discounter Ross announced good earnings. More off-price retailers are set to release numbers next week. Sally Herships has more on consumers dressing for less.


Sally Herships: Americans are stretching their dollars these days.

Marc Karimzadeh of Women’s Wear Daily says everyday shoppers aren’t splashing out as much.

Marc Karimzadeh: If you look at the past few months, Neiman Marcus and Sax have both reported that they feel the pinch of the recession in consumer traffic. They’ve seen a slowdown in their stores and on the floors.

But a down market doesn’t mean bad news for everyone. Analysts have high hopes for discounters like Fred’s, which releases earnings next week. But off-price retailers could still suffer from tight credit tight and high gas prices.

Retail consultant Howard Davidowitz says these stores aren’t recession-proof:

Howard Davidowitz: I think there’s lots of discounters feeling the pain right now, and by the way that includes Target and K-Mart.

Can any part of the fashion biz catch a break? Karimzadeh of Womens Wear says accessories makers could benefit as shoppers buy belts or handbags, rather than a whole new look.

I’m Sally Herships for Marketplace.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.