Unique Retail Index Confirms Consumer Spending Lift in April

    Survey tracks consumer involvement and spending in ten key retail

    TORONTO, May 20 /CNW/ - In April, Canadians opened both their arms and
their wallets to help usher in the official start of spring. The latest
edition of the Retail Reid Index - where a representative national sample of
Canadian adults was asked at the beginning of May about their expenditures in
the month of April - highlights a lift in consumer spending in comparison to
    The results released today show that the Retail Reid Index has risen to
105.4% (versus January 2009), up 1.2% over March. Spending increases in
seasonal, apparel, sporting goods, and home furnishing are the key drivers of
    "The influence of spring is most clearly pronounced in the seasonal and
outdoor category," says David Gardner, Senior Research Manager of Angus Reid
Strategies' Retail and Consumer Practice. "Both involvement and spending are
notably higher in the category, as many Canadians begin preparing their
outdoor spaces for spring and summer."
    Apparel has also benefited from a change in season, as both men and women
look to update their wardrobes with new spring fashions. "Some consumers are
also likely taking advantage of end of season apparel sales and winter
clearance events," says Gardner.
    While seasonality is helping, as are some tactical measures put forth by
retailers, many consumers are still hesitant on larger purchases - spending is
at its lowest levels since January in computers, home electronics, and
furniture and major appliances.
    Supported by the Index, the Canadian retail market has exhibited positive
month-by-month performance versus January, though the market is not making an
about face quite yet. "We aren't dropping like the latter half of 2008, but
the market is still too fragile to say the worst is over - it's still somewhat
unpredictable," says Gardner.
    It's this unpredictability that poses an ongoing challenge for retailers
across the board. Encouragingly, however, the Index does suggest that
Canadians are consumers of habit, and seasonal changes should continue to
benefit key categories even in uncertain economic climates.

    What is Retail Reid?

    Retail Reid is a quarterly syndicated product developed by Angus Reid
Strategies that provides an overview of retail market health across Canada.
Retail Reid helps retailers understand the shifts occurring in the sector,
allowing them to anticipate, adapt and benefit from these changes.
    More information on the Retail Reid Report can be found here:

    What is the Retail Reid Index?

    The Retail Reid Index - based on interviews with a representative sample
of 1,000 Canadian adults - is a monthly index score that provides a clear and
concise read on the health of the Canadian retail market. Comprising consumer
involvement and spending in ten key retail categories, the Retail Reid Index
is a simple yet powerful tool for understanding growth and contraction in the
underlying retail market.

    Full Report, Detailed Tables and Methodology are available at:
<a href="http://www.angusreidstrategies.com/uploads/pages/pdfs/2009.05.20_RetailReid.pdf">http://www.angusreidstrategies.com/uploads/pages/pdfs/2009.05.20_RetailReid.pd</a>
<a href="http://www.angusreidstrategies.com/uploads/pages/pdfs/2009.05.20_RetailReid.pdf">f</a>

For further information:

For further information: David Gardner, Senior Research Manager, Retail
and Consumer Strategy, (416) 644-4045, david.gardner@angus-reid.com

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