Brighter forecast ahead for fall selling season

For some retailers, their busy season is about to start. That includes Eric Buehler, owner of Carpets Plus ColorTile in Thayne, Wyo. “Because we live in a seasonal resort in Wyoming, October and November are busy for us,” he said. “Sales are still good, walk-in traffic has decreased slightly, but new construction and commercial activities remain strong.”

For Marjorie Benson, owner of Friendly Floors in Port Charlotte, Florida, the relentless summer heat will soon give way to more favorable conditions. “Our season is when the hibernators move south to escape their winters,” she said.

But before the industry does its merry dance, there are still concerns that could dilute sales in the coming months. In Boise, Idaho, housing hotbed, there is some hesitation among consumers sneaking in, observers say.

“We’ve definitely seen a slowdown in all areas of the business except commercial,” said Casey Dillabaugh, president of Dillabaugh’s Flooring America, which operates three locations. “That said, we’ve been in one of the hottest markets in America for the past two years. A correction here should be felt a little more. The unfortunate thing is that we are still in a market that is ‘feeling itself’ – for lack of a better term – and until we start to see some clarity in key areas I would continue to see hesitation. Whether it’s inflation concerns, commodity costs, interest rates, a cooling housing market and of course the upcoming elections, people like to have some degree of predictable stability. Until that stability happens, I would expect a moderate cooling to continue.”

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