NEW YORK (AP) -- The top marketing executives of 100 retailers predict that comparable store sales will drop 2.7 percent this holiday shopping season, according to a BDO Seidman Retail Compass Survey released Monday.
"The pessimism among chief marketing officers this year is unprecedented," Al Ferrara, a partner in BDO Seidman's retail and consumer product practice, said in a statement. "Without a doubt, we can expect a very promotional environment that will appeal to cost-sensitive consumers, despite the impact it may have on shrinking margins."
The survey was conducted in late September and October.
Chief marketing officers surveyed predicted a 2.7 percent drop in same-store sales and a 2.8 percent drop in overall sales. Same-store sales, or sales at locations open at least a year, are a key indicator of performance since they measure growth at existing locations rather than at newly opened ones.
Last year, the survey had predicted a 5 percent rise in same-store sales.
Of the chief marketing officers surveyed, 88 percent say they will offer more discounts and promotions this year. That is up from 73 percent last year. They said they would mostly offer in-store promotions, markdowns and online promotions.
Those surveyed cited the uncertainty in financial markets as the chief cause of concern among consumers.
BDO Seidman LLP is an accounting and consulting firm. The telephone survey was of executives at retailers with revenues of more than $100 million.