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Showrooming Now Under Control, Says CFO Survey

Dozens of retailers based in the United States believe they have brought the e

Dozens of retailers based in the United States believe they have brought the existence of showrooming - or using their stores to check out products and then buy them online - under control, according to CFOs at these firms who recently participated in a

Dozens of retailers based in the United States believe they have brought the existence of showrooming - or using their stores to check out products and then buy them online - under control, according to CFOs at these firms who recently participated in a finance survey.

In a poll that is given every year by assurance, tax and financial consulting firm BDO USA, these top finance executives revealed that their largest concern right now is how the outcome of the November presidential election could affect consumer spending, according to Reuters.

Showrooming
A vast majority, or 88 percent of participating CFOs, specified that they are not currently concerned about customers showrooming. This practice has become a growing concern for many retailers as customers bring their smartphones and tablets into stores in order to determine the lowest price they can get for an item, the media outlet reports.

One area in particular that has been hard-hit by showrooming is consumer electronics, which has observed Best Buy Inc. experience declining sales when shoppers come simply to check out items and not actually buy them.

2012 sales predictions
CFOs working in retail who took part in the survey predicted that 2012 online sales will increase 5.9 percent, according to the South Carolina Herald. While sales made through online mediums are expected to grow by almost 6 percent, comparable store sales are expected to gain 4.1 percent and total sales are predicted to rise 4.5 percent for the year.

A majority of the CFOs that took part in the poll predicted that their online sales will rise by between 5 and 10 percent in 2012. This figure is still low compared to the 11.9 percent gain that was forecast for 2011. These finance executives are predicting that holiday-specific online sales will rise 4.6 percent for the year.

"Retailers are still seeing a great deal of top-line growth in e-commerce, and that is leading to optimistic expectations for the holidays," Stephen Wyss, partner in the Retail and Consumer Products Practice at BDO USA, LLP, said in a statement. "It’s a solid outlook, but you can bet that every online sales offer, every promotion consideration, and every hiring decision this holiday season will be made with careful consideration of the impact of the presidential election on consumer confidence levels and the general state of the economy." 

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