NEW YORK — It’s July, but retail analyst Edward Johnson has his eye on December.
On Wednesday, he projected a 6.4 to 8.6 percent increase in Christmas sales and a pickup in women’s apparel. Johnson’s pre-season projections have been on target for the last two years.
He expects the demand for fashion to start picking up this fall, before the Christmas season’s traditional kickoff the day after Thanksgiving. Casual looks and luxury fibers will be bestsellers in the women’s departments, Johnson said. And he’s betting on retailers to do big volumes in turtlenecks, sweaters, polar fleece, vests and Christmas-themed sweaters. Johnson, director of Johnson Redbook Service, made the predictions at a speech Wednesday at the City Midday Club here. He also predicted a rebound in retail stock prices late in 1994.
This season, however, sales growth has been uneven and bargain-oriented consumers are continuing to put pressure on margins, Johnson noted.
— Fairchild News Service

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