Retailers expecting sales to 'spring' back in April

Retailers hope to rebound from a slow March and with Easter and other events around the corner, it appears they will. Retailers say this March, the numbers were down compared to last March, but according to Dr. Richard Clodfelter of the Retail Department at University of South Carolina, it is very difficult to draw those comparisons. “It makes it very difficult to compare,” said Clodfelter.
“That’s what most retailers do. They compare last year to this year and Easter is the only holiday that fluctuates. When Easter falls a month later, that affects those kinds of comparisons. Also, just the number of shopping weekends (will affect it).  I think I read somewhere that this year, March had one less Saturday than last year’s March.”
Clodfelter says with Easter falling in April this year and other events like The Masters and The Heritage this month, the numbers should begin to improve this spring. He says consumers like to dress to impress during these events and that will drive the sell of apparel up. “I did see one thing on the Master’s where the scalping for the tickets and badges were down compared to last year,” he said.
“They still fill the golf course and when they do that, people try to dress to impress, you know, they buy things. Whether it’s dinner out–or what else–anything at the mall, that kind of thing.”
Clodfelter says retailers are expecting increases this April compared to last April. “They’re looking for at least an uptick in sales,” according to Clodfelter.
“One of the things that is hard to compare, you know, some of the numbers I saw come out this morning, is comparing this year’s March sales to last year’s March sales and they’re down. Last year, Easter was in March. So, I think it has a tremendous impact on you when you start comparing sales.
“I think a lot of retailers are looking for a little more of an uptick here in April.”