Eighty percent of U.S. retail executives expect holiday sales to increase or remain the same as last year, finds CIT Group study

NEW YORK , November 23, 2011 () – According to the third annual Retail Finance Outlook (cit.com/retailoutlook2011) study released by CIT Group Inc. (NYSE: CIT) cit.com, a leading provider of financing to small businesses and middle market companies, 80% of retail executives expect their Holiday sales to increase or remain the same as last year.

Among the notable shopping days this Holiday Season, more than one-third of executives expect Black Friday sales to increase this year; more than a quarter expect Cyber Monday (November 28) sales to be up and nearly a quarter expect Super Saturday (December 24) sales to increase. In addition, sensing that price-conscious consumers will again be on the look-out for bargains, 37% predict an increase in last-minute shopping, while 38% expect post-Christmas shopping days to be stronger.

One way retailers hope to draw consumers to their stores is through social media. The CIT study also found that nearly 60% of executives are shifting marketing dollars away from old media toward new media, such as social media campaigns. As part of that shift, 68% report increases in marketing and deals through social media channels, including Facebook and Twitter. In addition, 63% report that their Web sales are growing (28%) or growing faster than other channels (35%).

“In what has been an otherwise mixed season thus far, retailers are doing whatever they can to maximize their holiday sales season,” said Burt Feinberg, Group Head of CIT Commercial & Industrial. “This preparation includes shifting marketing dollars away from old media toward new media to get the consumer in the door or on their Web site.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: To download a free copy of the study visit: cit.com/retailoutlook2011. In addition, individuals can download a free copy of the CIT Executive Spotlight on Retail Industry Trends with Burt Feinberg at: cit.com/retailindustrytrends.

About the Study

The information in this study is based on the results of a September 2011 survey of 100 executives at U.S. middle market retail companies (annual revenues of $25 million to $1 billion) conducted by Forbes Insights the strategic research practice of Forbes Media. Almost half (49%) of the companies had revenues of less than $100 million; 29% had revenues of $500 million or more. Almost three-quarters of respondents (73%) had titles of director or above; 41% were owners or C-level executives (CEO, CFO, CTO, CIO, etc.). forbes.com/forbesinsights

Individuals interested in receiving future updates on CIT via e-mail can register at http://newsalerts.cit.com

About CIT

Founded in 1908, CIT (NYSE: CIT) is a bank holding company with more than $34 billion in finance and leasing assets. A member of the Fortune 500, it provides financing and leasing capital to its more than one million small business and middle market clients and their customers across more than 30 industries. CIT maintains leadership positions in small business and middle market lending, factoring, retail finance, aerospace, equipment and rail leasing, and global vendor finance. cit.com

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