May 21, 2012: Retailers See Fuel Costs, Privacy as Key Concerns

A report analyzing the risk factors cited by retailers in their filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission found that concerns about fuel prices and privacy breaches have increased in 2012. The 2012 BDO RiskFactor Report for Retail Businesses, from accounting and consulting firm BDO USA, Chicago, found that concerns over fuel prices surpassed concerns over unemployment among the 100 largest retailers. Of the 99% of retailers that cited general economic conditions as a concern in 2012, 71% cited fuel costs as a primary reason, up from 58% a year ago, vs. 68% who cited unemployment. Concerns over financial market turmoil, inflation/deflation and privacy breaches also increased. However, consumer credit concerns declined as a risk factor in 2012, and risks associated with U.S. growth and expansion are at the lowest levels since the start of the study in 2006, BDO said, “an indicator of softness in the retail real estate market and modest store expansion plans.”

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