Chicago -- A study released on Tuesday by BDO USA found that retailers are generally confident that year-end sales will top last year’s. According to the sixth-annual BDO Retail Compass Survey of CFOs, which examined the opinions of 100 leading retail CFOs nationwide, retailers are expecting a 4.5% increase in total 2012 sales.
While the forecast shows improving confidence when compared with sales projections for 2011 (+3%) and 2010 (+2%), retailers have been relatively guarded in year-end expectations. In 2011, total retail sales exceeded expectations and increased 7.3%.
The survey found that retail CFOs are also growing more confident in the overall economic picture. While a majority (57%) expect to see a continuation of stagnant economic conditions in the near future, the number of CFOs forecasting an ongoing economic turnaround nearly tripled this year (32%, up from 11% in 2011).
“Consumers proved resilient through back-to-school season, and that is fueling greater optimism for holiday sales results,” said Doug Hart, partner in the Retail and Consumer Product Practice at BDO USA. “But retailers aren’t counting their dollars just yet. Forecasts are cautious as retailers closely watch unemployment, election results and inventory levels - any of which could throw a wrench in holiday results.”
Other major findings of the survey include: