A survey of members of the United Retailers Association revealed that 50 percent think their sales will be better or the same as last year. The remaining 50 percent believe that their sales will be worse than last year, mainly because of the island’s economic stagnation.
Another important finding is that the majority (52.63 percent) of respondents claim to use the Internet as a sales tool and 81.58 percent want to know more about the Internet to improve their marketing and sales.
“These data are important because it essentially tells us that even though the economy is not at its best, retailers are betting on their ability to reinvent themselves, to adjust to the times and move forward. For me the key message of this survey is that many retailers keep a positive attitude, and are ready to fight,” said Rubén Piñero, president of the CUD, as the trade group is known by its initials in Spanish.
The CUD carried out the survey using its data base, polling 287 participants on Nov. 15. When the same exercise was conducted last year, 32 percent of retailers expected improved sales, a number that jumped to 50 percent this year.
“That 50 percent says they are fighting the situation with better offers for customers, so the message to the public is to visit small and mid-sized businesses and see their offers, to give them a chance before going to the major shops and mega stores,” Piñero said.
About 54 percent of the respondents were micro-enterprises with a gross income of $500,000 a year and seven employees or less. Another 40.5 percent are small businesses with gross income of $3 million or less, and with a workforce of 25 employees or less, the CUD said.
“Consumers shouldn’t assume that the best deals are in the large emporiums, small and mid-sized businesses also have very good prices, the best service and the advantage that the invested money stays here and helps strengthen our economy,” said Piñero.