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What’s hot in retail - February '13

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The shortest month of the year didn't lack for news in the retail industry. February marked a step toward supply chain stability after a contract agreement was ratified at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, just weeks after groups at the East Coast and Gulf Coast ports made their own contract resolution. A week prior, a new bicameral and bipartisan Marketplace Fairness Act was introduced, marking a big step toward a level sales tax play field for online and brick-and-mortar retailers. The Marketplace Fairness Coalition was launched at the same time and includes a long list of stakeholders dedicated to advancing the Marketplace Fairness Act. All this with President Obama's State of the Union Address packed right in the middle. Read on for what else your peers found valuable last month.

NRF Information:

  • NRF's 4-5-4 calendar was February's most-read resource. 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.
  • Even as one of the biggest gift-giving holidays, this year's Valentine's Day consumer survey showed Americans were still spending cautiously. Over one-quarter of those celebrating planned to shower loved ones with gifts, which was a new 10-year high. One of the more notable stats was the difference in average spend between men and women. Men surveyed said they expected to spend an average of $175 on jewelry, flowers, and more for the holiday, while their counterparts would spend approximately $88 on Valentine's Day gifts.
  • Shortly after Valentine's Day came NRF's annual tax returns survey. The data showed that due to payroll tax changes, nearly three out of every four Americans were adjusting their spending plans. A smaller paycheck has prompted consumers to rethink their household budgets, with 45 percent indicating they will spend less overall and another 35 percent searching for sales more often.
  • RAMA's annual Super Bowl consumer survey hit a nine-year record as more than 179 million people planned to watch the big game. For those celebrating, the average game watcher expected to spend $68 on new televisions for viewing parties, snacks, décor, and more.
  • NRF's digitally enhanced Annual Report is a month-by-month look at NRF events, policy milestones and new initiatives within NRF's communities. Check out what happened each month at NRF last year and share you favorite stat or story.

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