What's hot in retail - March '13
March marked a symbolic victory for sales tax fairness advocates after the Marketplace Fairness Act amendment was approved in the Senate just before the spring recess. The 75-24 vote attached non binding language to the federal budget resolution giving states the right to require online sellers to collect sales tax the same as local brick-and-mortar stores. On the industry side NRF worked with research partner BIGinsight to learn that fluctuating prices at the gas pump were impacting the spending decisions for seven in 10 Americans. Finally, NRF's very own Vicki Cantrell landed on RIS News' 2013 Influentials List which included executives from retail companies like Moosejaw, Canadian Tire and Build-A-Bear Workshop. Now read on for the rest of March's most-read news. NRF Information
- NRF's 4-5-4 calendar was the most-read resource for the second straight month. This voluntary reporting guide ensures sales comparability between years by dividing the year into months based on a four-weeks/five-weeks/four-weeks format.
- Keeping frugality in mind, NRF's annual Easter consumer survey found spending would be flat compared to 2012. Americans would spend an average of $145.13 on candy, apparel, food and more with total spending reaching an estimated $17.2 billion.
- St. Patrick's Day falling on a Sunday wouldn't stop more than 133 million to celebrate the day in style. The average celebrant said they would spend $35.27 on green attire, decor and holiday themed food and drink as total spending was expected to hit $4.7 billion, according to the survey.
- NRF's 2013 tax returns survey was also among the most-read resources for the second consecutive month. Payroll tax hikes caused consumers to reconsider the spending habits - 45 percent indicated they will spend less overall, and another 35 percent would search for sales more often.
- Entering the end of the first quarter of 2013 readers were checking back in to NRF's annual forecast. A subdued increase of 3.4 percent is projected for the year, 0.8 percent under the preliminary 4.2 percent growth seen in 2012. NRF's digital division Shop.org expects online sales to grow between 9.0 and 12.0 percent for the year.
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