So, when is a report on lower monthly CE and major appliance sales not necessarily bad news?
When it is weather related is my answer. During the snow, ice, rain, sleet, hail storm that hit half the country for the past couple of days, the U.S. Commerce Dept. said that CE and appliance retail sales were down 4.7 percent in January.
As many of you know the U.S. Commerce numbers for the industry are usually conservative and differ from other industry research which centers on CE and appliances.
In TWICE’s story we quoted the National Retail Federation – not a neutral bystander in this but usually an accurate observer of the retail scene – and it continues to predict a 4.1 percent gain in overall retail sales for all industries in the U.S. for 2014.
NRF president/CEO Matthew Shay sees the glass half full – January’s slump was weather related. Its chief economist Jack Kleinhenz took the last half empty position – we won’t know “until we shovel out of the snow.”
I am taking the “glass half full” position. I dug out to get to TWICE’s offices this morning so if it ever stops snowing and all the white stuff melts pent-up consumer demand will explode.
But like anything in CE/appliance retailing, crossing your fingers won’t hurt either.