Daily News: February 19, 2015

‘Everyone Looks Good in the Black: Retailers in Economic Rebound’

As the economic recovery gains speed, the consumer electronics and furniture sectors of the retail industry can look forward to growth in 2015, while the apparel sector faces a more mixed outlook.

These insights and more are shared by three CIT Commercial Services executives — Marc Heller, Northeast regional manager and international manager, Mike Hudgens, Southeast regional manager, and Mitch Cohen, Western regional manager — in “Everyone Looks Good in the Black: Retailers in the Economic Rebound”, the latest piece of market intelligence in the CIT Executive Insights series

During this roundtable discussion, each executive offers their views on the top trends they see ahead in various sectors of the retail market:

Marc Heller – Apparel

It’s a mixed bag in the apparel sector – retail sales for the holiday season in most cases were good, but the teen and luxury markets face challenges. The power of brands remains paramount, while the greatest growth opportunities are e-commerce and international expansion
In 2015, expect to see fewer retailers and more consolidation among vendors.

Mike Hudgens – Furniture

Furniture sector is looking forward to what could be one of the best years in a long time, especially in the Southeast and Southwest
Younger consumers want instant gratification, so retailers are focused on inventory and rapid delivery. Growth potential is seen in hospitality and institutional areas as Baby Boomers age and travel.

Mitch Cohen – Consumer Electronics

The sector is very healthy right now – the recent Consumer Electronics Show remains one of the largest tradeshows in Las Vegas. More consumers are using the Internet in addition to going to retail stores; brick-and-mortar locations have become more of a showroom Cautious optimism for the sector in 2015, with continued growth expected for the year.

To read more from each executive, visit cit.com/roundtable. For additional insights and perspectives from CIT executives on the industries they support, visit cit.com/viewfromthemiddle.