Stimulating Retailers or Self, that is the question

by Deepak Sharma on Sunday, May 04, 2008

With the first wave of US economy stimulus checks being deposited into bank accounts past week, retailers have started getting aggressive to pick up their shares of the checks. is reporting that, retailers like Sears and Kroger are giving 10% bonus to those who turn their stimulus checks into company gift cards. Another story reports that other retailers like Walmart, Lowe's, CVS etc are offering discounts this weekend. But that may not be sufficient to pull the consumers to stores, recent polls are suggesting that most of the people will convert the checks into cash and pay off debt or add to their savings.

The checks and payments are part of a $168 billion tax rebate plan passed by Congress to help spur the lagging economy. Under the plan, individuals who have filed their tax returns for the year can receive up to $600 and families can get up to $1,200, plus $300 per child. The rebates are expected to reach 130 million households. The direct deposit payments began on Monday and paper checks go out May 9.

This quarter results will tell us who which retailer picked up maximum store traffic thus boosting amount of cash on their balance sheets.