RETAIL: Weather slows January sales; forecast looks good

Times Board of Economists - update by Josh Halpern, President, Albert's Diamond Jewelers
2014-02-02T00:00:00Z 2014-02-02T00:05:54Z RETAIL: Weather slows January sales; forecast looks goodVanessa Renderman vanessa.renderman@nwi.com, (219) 933-3244 nwitimes.com

Although off to a slow start in 2014, the retail industry is expecting to see a strong first six months.

"I would say we're going to be slightly better than last year," said Josh Halpern, president of Albert's Diamond Jewelers. "I am completely optimistic for the first six months of the year."

Halpern blamed the cold weather for sluggish sales in January, but the consumer confidence outlook gives him hope.

"Consumer confidence goes up when (consumers) feel their portfolios are doing well," he said. 

Halpern said holiday sales at the jewelry store were comparable to the 2012 holiday sales. But, December sales did not keep pace with previous months.

"The health of my sector was very good in October and November," Halpern said. "It slowed down a little in December."

Halpern projected more sales and revenue in the next six months but less money put into capital expenditures.

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