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CIT Survey of Middle Market Retail Executives Shows Mixed Sentiment for the Holiday Season and Beyond
Thursday, November 21, 2013 08:30 AM
CIT released its 2013 retail outlook survey (
For many middle market retail executives, the forecast for the coming holiday season and beyond is a wintry mix

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Retailers may be making their (inventory) lists and checking them twice this holiday season. A new retail outlook survey( from CIT Group Inc. (NYSE:CIT), a leading provider of financing and advisory services to small businesses and middle market companies, conducted by Forbes Insights, finds that while 45% of middle market retail executives believe an economic recovery is already here or is well underway, 55% don’t expect a recovery to materialize until later, with almost 25% saying they don’t expect to see a recovery until 2015.

Looking toward this holiday season, one in three retailers expect minimal growth rates of between one and five percent, while 12% say they expect to see a decrease in sales over the holidays. An outlier to this sentiment: one in four retailers expect to see growth between six and ten percent this holiday season.

“For many middle market retail executives, the forecast for the coming holiday season and beyond is a wintry mix,” saidBurt Feinberg, President, CIT Corporate Finance, Commercial & Industrial. “More than 60 percent say that high unemployment will continue to hurt sales, and 53 percent say overall economic uncertainty is having a dampening effect. Despite this, high-end luxury goods continue to sell well, while other consumers are choosing to trade down on their purchases.”

Interestingly, while 70% report that their own financial condition is healthy, 25% say they are reducing the schedules of existing employees to 30 hours or less, and 27% report that online and mobile business models are disrupting their business.

In addition, 61% say they see an uneven recovery developing that seems to be favoring wealthier consumers more than middle- and lower-income customers. In fact, while 50% of retailers say they are seeing increased demand for luxury goods among affluent shoppers, 45% say they are seeing middle class shoppers shift their preference from premium to lower-priced products.

Complimentary copies of the full report can be downloaded at


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About the Study

The study, conducted in partnership between Forbes Insights and CIT Group Inc., included insight into the views and strategic plans of 208 senior, U.S.-based middle market ($25 million – $1 billion in annual sales) retail executives. The survey was conducted in October 2013.

About Forbes Insights

Forbes Insights is the strategic research and thought leadership practice of Forbes Media, publisher of Forbes magazine and, whose combined media properties reach nearly 50 million business decision makers worldwide on a monthly basis. Taking advantage of a proprietary database of senior-level executives in the Forbes community, Forbes Insights conducts research on a host of topics of interest to C-level executives, senior marketing professionals, small business owners and those who aspire to positions of leadership, as well as providing deep insights into issues and trends surrounding wealth creation and wealth management.

About CIT

Founded in 1908, CIT (NYSE:CIT) is a financial holding company with more than $35 billion in financing and leasing assets. It provides financing, leasing and advisory services to its clients and their customers across more than 30 industries. CIT maintains leadership positions in middle market lendingfactoringretail financeaerospaceequipmentand rail leasing, and vendor finance. CIT operates CIT Bank (Member FDIC), its primary bank subsidiary, which, through its Internet bank, offers a suite of savings options designed to help customers achieve a range of financial goals.



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Matt Klein, 973-597-2020
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Ken Brause, 212-771-9650
Executive Vice President
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Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications