We see in our own portfolio and in the companies we’re looking at for new financing that the better performers are those that have been ahead of the curve by embracing e-commerce and who’ve developed digital strategies to market their products.
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Although pessimism prevails regarding a quick recovery of the U.S. economy, many retail industry executives are optimistic about their own business growth prospects. Overall, 60% expect that their retail sales will grow over the next 12 months, while only 9% predict that their retail sales will decline, according to Burt Feinberg, Group Head of CIT Commercial & Industrial. These are some of the findings detailed in CIT’s recently released study, “Retail Finance Outlook 2011” (cit.com/retailoutlook2011).
The video interview complements CIT’s ongoing research and thought leadership programs and is part of the latest installment of CIT’s Executive Insights Series (cit.com/executiveinsights),(featuring senior CIT executive commentary on current market conditions and industry trends.
“Our study confirms how important social media is in our economy, and in particular, the retail industry,” said Feinberg. “We see in our own portfolio and in the companies we’re looking at for new financing that the better performers are those that have been ahead of the curve by embracing e-commerce and who’ve developed digital strategies to market their products.” Nearly seven in ten (68%) retail industry executives report increases in marketing and deals through social media channels, such as Facebook and Twitter. In addition, 63% report that their Web sales are either growing (28%) or growing faster than other channels (35%).
With the shopping season nearing, nearly three-quarters of retail industry executives see holiday retail sales either improving slightly (38%) or staying about the same as last year (36%). Feinberg says: “Our study shows that there’s cautious optimism for the retail industry this holiday season. Other retail trends to watch are price-conscious consumers looking for bargains. More than a third of retail industry executives predict an increase in last-minute shopping.”
The study, prepared in association with Forbes Insights, gathered the insights of more than 100 middle market retail industry executives to assess their views on the U.S. economy and retail finance, as well as their opinions concerning prospects for their own companies and the retail industry.
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EDITOR’S NOTE: To download a free copy of the study and related charts, visit: cit.com/retailoutlook2011. In addition, individuals can download a free copy of the CIT Executive Spotlight on Retail Industry Trends with Burt Feinberg at:cit.com/retailindustrytrends.
About the Study
The information in this study is based on the results of a September 2011 survey of 100 retail industry executives at U.S. middle market retail companies (annual revenues of $25 million to $1 billion), the strategic research practice of Forbes Media. Almost half (49%) of the companies had revenues of less than $100 million; 29% had revenues of $500 million or more. Almost three-quarters of respondents (73%) had titles of director or above; 41% were owners or C-level executives (CEO, CFO, CTO, CIO, etc.).
Founded in 1908, CIT (NYSE: CIT) is a bank holding company with more than $34 billion in financing and leasing assets. A member of the Fortune 500, it provides financing and leasing capital to its more than one million small business and middle market clients and their customers across more than 30 industries. CIT maintains leadership positions in small business and middle market lending, factoring, retail finance, aerospace, equipment and rail leasing, and global vendor finance. cit.com