PwC’s Retail CFO Survey was conducted to explore the efforts retailers have taken to improve business and financial performance over the past year and their priorities going into 2011. Last year’s results were characterized by a significant focus on managing in the midst of the recession which led to stringent monitoring of inventory controls and capital expenditures and driving (often) substantial reductions in operating costs. This year, many retail CFOs reported that their customers are slowly beginning to feel more optimistic about spending and that their chains are responding with initiatives to attract customers back into stores by investing judiciously in inventory and technology in an effort to better serve customers in local markets.
This survey of 56 retail CFOs includes 33 North American and 23 international retail chains in the specialty, grocery and department store sectors. Within this group, which was 30% public and 70% private, annual sales ranged from $200 million to over $10 billion. These results are based upon the survey responses of 56 retail CFO participants, collected during July-Sept 2010 and are not meant to be representative or projectable for the entire domestic or international retail market.