New York—It wasn’t as frigid this week as last, but many retailers probably felt a chill.
Citing reasons such as light traffic, heavy promotions, winter storms etc., a spate of retailers lowered their forecasts, saying fourth quarter or full year earnings would be affected. Sears Holdings, for example, reported some of the worst holiday figures, including comparable store sales declines of 7.4%.
A ‘More-Confident Consumer’
Yet the National Retail Federation (NRF) also reported that despite the difficulties, holiday 2013 sales were nearly in line with its earlier predictions. Said NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz: “Solid job growth in the months of October and November led to a more-confident consumer and healthy holiday shopping season for many retailers. While economic and policy uncertainties remain, the economy seems set for steady growth in the New Year.”
One area that will continue to be scrutinized—and more investment made into—is data security, especially protecting consumers against their credit/debit card information and avoiding more scenarios like those that now plague Target, Neiman Marcus and three other retail chains yet to be disclosed.
Those topics along with the following comprise the top 10 online articles of the week: