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STORES MAGAZINE PREDICTS BETTER BUSINESS CLIMATE FOR RETAILERS DURING JANUARY

 NEW YORK, Jan. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Stores magazine, the National Retail Federation monthly publication serving the entire retail industry, predicts a better business climate for retailers during the month of January.
 The latest reading of the Stores Consumer General Merchandise Index (CGMI), reported for the first time in the magazine's January issue, indicates that the consumer's willingness to spend is up sharply (102 vs. 85 for January 1992), enhancing the retailer's ability to increase profits during the month.
 The o?res CGMI is based on "How the Consumer Feels(R)," a survey conducted monthly for the past 17 years by Leo J. Shapiro and Associates, a Chicago-based consulting firm. The Stores CGMI tracks monthly the buying mood of the consumer and measures the consumer's willingness to purchase clothing, household furnishings and other general merchandise.
 The CGMI measurement is based on monthly interviews with male and female members of 450 households for a total national sampling of 5,400 households a year. It measures 40 factors reflecting the consumer's perception of his financial situation and prospects, as well as saving and spending plans. The CGMI for January 1993 reflects measurements made in December 1992.
 The CGMI is an indicator of the profit potential of retailers based purely on the consumer's willingness to spend, thereby influencing sales. However, it should not be interpreted as a sales forecast for general merchandise. The sales volume achieved by the industry is the result of the retailer's and vendor's efforts to move merchandise according to their business plans. Consumer income, savings and access to credit impose a limit on what can be purchased.
 For example, during the month of January, dollar sales of general merchandise increased from $11.5 billion in 1989 to $12.2 billion in 1990; $12.3 billion in 1991; and $13.4 billion in 1992, even though the consumer's willingness to spend was decreased due to hard economic times. While dollar sales of general merchandise increased between January 1990 and 1991, retailers profits actually declined because of the promotional expenses involved in selling consumers who were less willing to spend to their maximum limit.
 The National Retail Federation is the nation's largest retail trade association representing an industry encompassing over 1 million retail establishments with registered sales of $1.8 trillion.
 -0- 1/7/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: For a line graph chart by fax contact Rick Gallagher, editor of Stores magazine (212-244-8780). Rick Gallagher (212-244-8780) and George Rosenbaum, president of Leo J. Shapiro (312-321-8111), are available for interviews./
 /CONTACT: Cathy Callegari of Cathy Callegari Public Relations/Communications, 914-723-8633, for National Retail Federation/


CO: National Retail Federation ST: New York IN: REA SU:

LD-OS -- NYFNS2 -- 2443 01/07/93 07:31 EST
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Date:Jan 7, 1993
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