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What are the consumers thinking? And the retailers doing...(Sales 2010)

This is my first article of I hope a long serie.

Receiving a daily newsletter from OptionMonster today in which they say the following:

"Eurozone and U.K. markets are moderately lower. Retailers announced that they expected 2010 sales to be slow in Europe, where consumers have been slow to resume spending."

makes me wonder which sources do we have to trust? In fact some days ago, sales started in Europe and different newspaper articles were published:

(Sorry - sources are in French)

http://www.lecho.be/actualite/belgique/Les_magasins_sont_pris_d-assaut_pour_les_soldes.8278746-589.art

--> Idea is: "Assault in the shops for Sales on their first day"

http://www.combourse.com/News/Soldes_d_hiver_debut_en_fanfare_sur_internet_et_chasse_aux_vetements_chauds__593258.html

--> Idea is: Consumer are looking for bargains and hot clothes.

http://www.lesechos.fr/depeches/france/afp_00219048.htm?xtor=RSS-2094

--> In this last article, one sentence in particular retain my attention:
"En Lorraine - où les soldes ont déjà débuté samedi pour cause d'harmonisation avec la Belgique et le Luxembourg voisins- le Printemps et les Galeries Lafayette font état de résultats positifs, de bon augure."

Facing with decrease in their sales because consumers refrain their buys, retailers start the sale with very high rebate (around 50% on the price - two years ago it was 10-20%) to diminish their stocks.

My conclusion is that the consumer are still their but their purchasing power dropped intensively and there are less compulsive buying than before, anyway still buying.

Do we then consider this as a start slow? Only the future will answer the question.

I will then follow the figures very closely.



Paul


PS: Happy 2010!