March sales offered some glimmers of hope that the retail industry’s slump has bottomed out, and some big chains have lifted profit forecasts, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Rising unemployment, a late Easter holiday and lower food and gas prices have stung retailers, but a rise in consumer confidence, and a small year-over-year sales gain in February indicate that stores may have seen the bottom of a steep slump, according to a story in the Wall Street Journal.
Written by Rachel Dodes and Ann Zimmerman, the story says that cost-cutting and tighter inventories are improving margins in big chains, even though joblessness and frozen credit markets continue to harm consumer spending.
Retail sales will likely be down for March when the government reports its figures Tuesday, the story says, but signs of optimism include a rise in houseware sales at Wal-Mart, Target and Kohl’s.
WSJ Online subscribers may read the full story here.