Senior Retail Execs See Brighter Business Future

       

       

NEW YORK—Senior executives in the retail industry are projecting an improved business picture for the balance of the year, and an even better climate next year, according to a survey by KPMG, the tax, audit and advisory firm.

Nearly two-thirds of the participating executives said overall business conditions in retail are better now than one year ago—a significant reversal from the survey results last year, when only one-fifth of the respondents thought this way. More than 90 percent of this year’s participants expect better conditions in 2011 as well, up from 70 percent in last year’s survey. The big revenue drivers over the next three years, said more than nine out of 10 executives, will be product innovations and innovative merchandising strategies—the latter of which include online and mobile Internet shopping.

Noting the rise in optimism among retailers, Mark Larson, global retail sector chair of KPMG, cautioned that “there is considerable room for improvement yet,” given the “drastic economic downturn” from which retailers are now rebounding. “Retail executives know they must do more than cut costs,” Larson said. “They need to capture more of their customers’ spending in what will continue to be a low-growth environment.”