Jul 17, 2017
NRF rips NY Post article for ‘retail is dying’ narrative

The New York Post has a problem with the National Retail Federation’s optimistic back-to-school spending predictions, and the National Retail Federation has a problem with that.

In an interview with Forbes’ Barbara Thau, NRF vice president of research said the Post’s article, titled “Retail group’s back-to-school projection doesn’t jive with recent numbers,” feeds into an inaccurate narrative of retail dying.

The NRF report predicted back-to-school spending would increase by 10 percent from last year to more than $83 billion. It was based on a survey of 7,226 consumers.

“So (even) when you publish accurate data in a highly scientific way, it immediately gets dismissed,” Matthews told Forbes. “We’re not being shills for the retail industry. If the numbers were down, we’d report them down.”

The New York Post story, written by Lisa Fickenscher, quoted apparel analyst Eric Beder of FBR & Co., who said growth will in the 1-to-3 percent range. “The reality is that this will be a slow growth business,” he told the Post.

Matthews cited shoes, electronics and food as three particularly healthy areas for back-to-school consumers this summer.

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