Small retail

SMALL RETAIL: Customers continue to loosen wallets a bit

Times Board of Economists - Update from Rosemary De St. Jean, owner Rosemary's Heritage Flowers
2013-07-21T00:00:00Z 2013-12-18T16:23:24Z SMALL RETAIL: Customers continue to loosen wallets a bitBy Keith Benman, (219) 933-3326

Small retailers are keeping a wary on eye on prices while looking for new ways to better serve the customer.

Delivery and gasoline surcharges that shippers charge retailers have for the most part stabilized at a "new normal," with some recent uptick in shipping charges to stores for single gift items.

The wariness among retailers comes as consumers continue to loosen their wallets, with business "a little bit better" than last year at Rosemary's Heritage Flowers and stable at most retailers across the area, according to owner Rosemary De St. Jean.

"There are no big changes up or down and customer spending is doing well," De St. Jean said.

Sales at U.S. retailers edged up 0.4 percent in June, according to figures issued by the U.S. Commerce Department last week.

It's at the point where the small business on West Walnut St. in Crown Point is contemplating replacing a delivery van, but only if absolutely necessary, De St. Jean said.

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