New York- Merchant Forecast LLC., is a recent addition to the +1900 tracked by Integrity. Founded in 2002, Merchant is a leading independent primary research firm focused on channel checking in the retail sector. Core coverage includes +70 apparel and footwear manufacturers and department and specialty retailers. What makes Merchant Forecast unique amongst their competitors (H&M Consulting, Retail Tracker, Retail Eye, Retail Intelligence Group) is their method of data collection. Merchant goes to the most direct and primary source for information- the mall.
Merchant Forecast has a National Field team of 130 store managers in 85 malls across America. Field Team members visit 4-5 stores which are strategically chosen based on main markets and merchandise seasonality. Merchant’s field team surveys retailers, performs shopping bag counts, and evaluates shoppers and store racks. All of this information is assessed by Merchant’s 3 Senior Analysts, who have an average of 20 years experience in the retail industry. Data is used to provide insight on the strength of sales and other factors that might affect the performance of a retail company. Field team members do not answer questions concerning their own store to ensure objectivity.
The information gathered from stores ultimately leads to actionable data. Research reports are published weekly with both qualitative and quantitative survey results aggregated for clients. There are 3 tiers to M4’s research offerings- 1. Weekly research 2. Unlimited access to analysts and 3. Proprietary data. Seasonal outlooks- Spring, Back to School, and Holiday recaps, along with year-over-year tracking of traffic, sales trends, and promotional activity are also offered.