Will the industries that dropped the furthest during the recession see the biggest bounce?
The automotive, appliance, furniture and jewelry industries are hoping so.
Experts in each sector talked to USA Today
The big three automakers clearly took a big hit over the past two years.
New vehicle sales were down to about 13 million in 2008, a decrease more than 18 percent from 2007. The average age of cars in the U.S. hit a high of 9.4 years, according to auto researcher R.L. Polk. That means many more consumers will have to replace their old cars as repairs become more expensive, Paul Taylor of the National Automobile Dealers Association told USA Today.
The lifespan of big-ticket appliances like refrigerators and washer-dryers is about 10 years. Retailers believe that sales and federal rebates for replacing old appliances with energy-efficient models will create a big bump in sales.
Consumers are also afraid to spend on other costly items like furniture, but industry experts believe that more good economic news will encourage people to open their wallets. Retailers say that shoppers are moving toward do-it-yourself projects and buying pieces for common living areas.
Sales of luxury items such as jewelry have plummeted, but jewelers like Fortunoff have held very successful liquidation sales. “People will buy if the discounts are aggressive enough,” Jeff Gordon, CEO of retail consulting firm The Gordon Co., told USA Today.
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