US: Retailers hit hard by superstorm, economy expected to rebound
ChainStoreAge.com - Oct 31st 2012, 08:57
New York -- While it may be days, even weeks, before the full extent of the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy is known, economists are forecasting that retail sales will be impacted in October and November but that the economy overall will experience an uptick.
Retailers across all categories closed stores on Monday as Sandy made its approach. Wal-Mart, for example, had closed 33 stores as of 11:45 a.m. ET on Monday, according to a Wall Street Journal report, with most of those stores located in Delaware, Maryland, Connecticut and New Jersey. Target had closed 12 stores by Monday morning and told WSJ it would likely close additional stores throughout the day and into Tuesday and Wednesday.
Macy’s had closed 130 stores by Monday morning, as well as its New York City offices. Best Buy closed more than 100 stores across the Northeast, and Foot Locker said it would close about 200 stores in all.
Most retailers, however, expressed relief that the storm didn’t hit over a weekend and that, even better, it fell on what are typically the slowest sales days for retail.
Citigroup retail analyst Deborah Weinswig told WSJ that she expects a mixed bag for retailers because of the storm. Hurricane Sandy will "disrupt last minute Halloween sales and mall traffic but drive stock-up trips to discounters," she said.
In total, however, economic losses from the storm will likely exceed the $12 billion to $16 billion in damage from Hurricane Irene, which battered the Northeast in August 2011. Some of the latest estimates are that Hurricane Sandy’s damage may reach $35 to $45 billion.
The storm forced the New York Stock Exchange to close for a second day, and the ports of New York and New Jersey have been closed and evacuated. All the closures will mean lost wages, production and sales for businesses throughout the region, which makes up about 15% of the nation's economy. Business lost by department stores could be made up in coming weeks but foregone restaurant sales will not be recovered, Diane Swonk, chief economist of Mesirow Financial, told the Detroit Free Press. Grocery stores and home-improvement outlets are realizing net gains as customers have stocked up on water, generators, flashlights and batteries. Online retail will likely experience an uptick as thwarted shoppers turn to the Internet to make purchases.
Swonk also said that homeowners forced to repair damage will likely make further renovations that they've put off, boosting economic growth. The storm is "unleashing pent-up demand," she says. "It's the most perverse stimulus to the economy." Swonk estimated that Hurricane Sandy will add from two-tenths to half a percentage point to economic growth this quarter.
Massmart partners with Walmart’s global sourcing team to help local suppliers export to Walmart markets
10/09/2019 - 09:28
Representatives from Walmart’s Global Sourcing team are in Johannesburg to meet with 18 of Massmart’s South African suppliers who are interested in exploring opportunities to export their products to Walmart markets.
Walmart Q2 revenue grows 1.8% year on year
20/08/2019 - 14:13
Total revenue of Walmart for its second quarter (Q2) of Financial Year 2020 (FY20) ending July 31 hit $130.4 billion, up 1.8 percent year on year, while the net sales of Walmart International decreased 1.1 percent year on year to $29.1 billion, the company reported.
Waitrose to close more stores
24/07/2019 - 10:41
Waitrose has confirmed that it is closing several more of its supermarkets as part of its recent strategy to offload underperforming sites.
Walmart must hire someone who can stop the bleeding at its online business
15/07/2019 - 09:55
Walmart has a hole to fill at its online unit, and whoever assumes the role faces a big challenge ahead.
Walmart aims to list minority stake in Japan unit Seiyu
01/07/2019 - 14:29
Walmart said it aims to list its Japanese supermarket unit Seiyu while keeping a majority stake in the business, amid on-and-off speculation the US retail giant was looking to exit Japan where it has struggled to grow.