The country’s ailing retailers are doing everything they can to cut costs and boost sales, but even 70% discounts haven’t done much to get shoppers back in the stores.
Same store sales or, sales numbers from stores that have been open for a year or more, fell 1.8% in the last week of January, according the ICSC-Goldman Sachs chain store sales index. It gets worse: Sales so far for the first quarter of 2009 are 2.4% lower than in the previous year, and the lowest recorded on the index since 1990.
“Consumers are in deep hibernation,” says Britt Beemer, CEO and founder of America’s Research Group, a consumer research company. “There is no sign that they will wake up this spring or that the retail outlook will pick up anytime soon.”
Retailer Pains, Consumer Gains
As apparel, electronics and even motorcycle retailers are cutting jobs and closing stores, there are good deals out there.
Here is a short list of places where you can get some additional bang for your buck.
Target (Stock Quote: TGT)
The Minneapolis-based retailer announced that it will cut 600 existing jobs and leave 400 open positions unfilled due to six straight months of lagging sales. A company spokesman said that the company is “taking action” to ensure that they can make payroll for more than 30,000 remaining employees.
Home Depot (Stock Quote: HD)
Remember that really tony Home Depot store called Expo? Well, it’s a thing of the past. The company is closing 34 Expo stores, two Design Centers and seven bathroom design shops called HD Bath.
The Deal: Their liquidation sales start on Tuesday, Feb. 3. But beware: Not all liquidation sales are all they’re cracked up to be.
Lane Bryant (Stock Quote: CHRS)
Charming Shoppes, Inc., the parent company of Catherines Plus Sizes, Fashion Bug and Lane Bryant is in trouble. They closed 150 stores in 2008, and announced plans to close as many as 100 more in 2009.
The Deal: Though many consumers hate to see Lane Bryants close, they’ll find comfort in the fact that an embellished halter maxi dress that normally sells for $89.50 is now on sale for $26.85. It will probably be discounted even more in the coming months.