Source: Prosper Business Development

ForecastIQ(R): Same Store Sales Outlook Improvement Trend Continues, but Will It Last?

Consumers More Bullish Heading Into 2011

COLUMBUS, OH--(Marketwire - January 4, 2011) - The outlook for same store sales continues the improvement trend begun in September, according to the December ForecastIQ® (a service from Prosper Technologies, LLC). But with consumer confidence more than two points lower in December 2010 than it was in December 2009, it's not certain if the continuing improvement trend will bring sustainable recovery.

For now it appears that consumer purchase plans are up with 17 of the 27 retailers tracked forecasted to have likely or almost certain growth, 3 predicted to remain flat and 7 likely/almost certain to decline.

Total Number for Retailers Tracked    
  DEC-2010 DEC-2009
Almost certain increase* 10 4
Likely increase 7 2
Flat 3 0
Likely decline 5 8
Almost certain decline 2 13

*An "almost certain increase" indicator for December means that in January and February, retailers are almost certain to experience same store sales growth from the same period a year ago. Forecasts can be viewed by each month.

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The forecast for luxury retailers remains strong as does the outlook for value-driven retailers and warehouse clubs. Neiman Marcus and Saks are almost certain to see an increase in same store sales; Nordstrom is likely. Ross and TJX are almost certain to increase and Fred's is likely. BJ's and Costco are both almost certain to see an increase.

Among teen retailers, Abercrombie & Fitch, Buckle and Wet Seal are almost certain to see an increase. On the other hand, Hot Topic's outlook continues its trend at almost certain to experience decline.

When it comes to department stores, JC Penney is likely to see growth. Bon-Ton and Dillards' forecasts are flat.

A partial list of retailers covered in the ForecastIQ® and expectations for same store sales year-over-year growth/decline through February follows:

Almost certain to see increase:   Almost certain to see decline:
Abercrombie & Fitch Ross Hot Topic
BJ's Saks  
Buckle TJX  
Costco Victoria's Secret  
Neiman Marcus Wet Seal  
Likely to see increase:   Likely to see decline: 
Aeropostale Nordstrom American Eagle Gap
Fred's Old Navy Banana Republic Stage
JC Penney   Cato's  
Children's Place      

Complete list of retailers and a complimentary 30-day trial:

About ForecastIQ®
ForecastIQ® was developed by Prosper Technologies and Greg Allenby by analyzing over 8 years of data from the BIGresearch® monthly Consumer Intentions & Actions® (CIA™) surveys based upon future spending plans of consumers and the same store sales of 27 publicly held retailers who disclose their monthly same store sales, then applying Bayesian quantile analysis to the data. The results are accurate and 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. Short-term forecasts are also available via enhanced consensus estimates.

About Prosper Technologies
Prosper Technologies™ develops software applications that provide consumer-centric analytics to marketers/retailers for better forecasting consumer demand, allocating marketing dollars, tracking consumer behaviors and understanding cross-shopping patterns.

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Phil Rist