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High-end, specialty retailers can expect soft same-store sales in 2010, ForecastIQ says

Columbus, Ohio – Same-store sales growth will likely be off over the next 75 days, although a repeat of last January's plunge isn't expected, as reported in the December ForecastIQ -- a service from Prosper Technologies LLC.

“The brightest prospects are still confined to discounters, off-price retailers and warehouse clubs as demand continues to be weak and consumers continue to pull back on spending,” the report said.

More specifically, those standing to lose the most are higher-priced retailers as well as some mid-price chains, including The Bon-Ton Stores, Dillard’s, J.C. Penney and Stein Mart, among several others. These retailers were listed as “almost certain to see [same store sales] declines” through February.

However, stores said to be “almost certain to see increases” in their same store sales through February include Ross and TJX Companies stores.

In a separate chart, stores “likely to see increases” in same store sales over the next 75 days are two warehouse clubs -- BJ’s and Costco. By comparison, Fred’s and Nordstrom were among retailers “likely to see declines.”

"The retail landscape is stuck in the winter doldrums. The picture hasn't changed, and isn't expected to change in the near future," said Prof. Greg Allenby of the Fisher College of Business at Ohio State University and who helped develop ForecastIQ with Prosper Technologies.

To create the ForecastIQ study, Prosper and Allenby analyzed more than seven years of data from BigResearch's monthly Consumer Intentions & Actions (CIA) surveys, which are based upon future spending plans of consumers and the same store sales of more than 27 publicly-held retailers, by applying Bayesian quantile analysis to the data. The results are accurate and for the first time, provide a forecast of consumer spending 75 days in advance. Same store sales forecasts are provided by percent growth over the next 45- and 75-day period and also include an enhancement to the consensus currently provided in the marketplace. Short-term forecasts are also available via enhanced consensus estimates.

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