December Sales Disappoint

The commonly reported monthly comparable-store-sales change provides an interesting snapshot of one month’s performance. The longer range trend provides a truer insight into what is actually happening with an individual retailer or in an entire channel. The following analysis highlights retailers who have established consistently improving or declining long-term comparable-store-sales trends.

Observations

Companies with improving 90 day and six-month trends experience a greater rate of improvement in December. The opposite also appears to be true. Weakening trends are also amplified in December. It appears that companies who understand their core customers and serve their needs gain extra benefit when the customers are spending the most.

Monthly Reporters With an Improving Six-Month TrendSource: The Gordman Group
RetailerDec. 2005Dec 2006Previous 90 DaysPrevious Six Months
Gottschalks3.7%2.1%0.4%0.0%
Gymboree16.0%15.0%11.7%11.3%
Neiman Marcus8.6%7.1%6.1%6.0%
Pacific Sunwear1.0%–3.2%–4.2%–6.2%
Pier 1 Imports–4.8%–10.7%–13.1%–13.8%
Saks Fifth Ave3.1%11.1%9.2%7.2%
TJX Cos.6.0%6.0%5.7%4.9%

Monthly Reporters With a Declining Six-Month Trend

Source: The Gordman Group
RetailerDec. 2005Dec. 2006Previous 90 DaysPrevious Six Months
Abercrombie & Fitch29.0%–1.0%1.6%1.9%
Ann Taylor1.5%–5.3%0.5%3.5%
Bon-Ton0.8%–5.8%–2.4%0.0%
Chico’s FAS16.4%–2.0%–0.7%0.9%
Claire’s4.0%0.0%0.1%0.9%
CVS7.3%8.5%8.8%9.0%
Dillard’s1.0%–5.0%–2.4%–2.0%
Family Dollar2.3%1.2%1.9%3.4%
Gap–9.0%–8.0%–5.8%–4.5%
Longs Drug Stores2.4%1.0%2.0%2.2%
Rite-Aid3.9%2.6%3.4%3.6%
Stage Stores7.3%2.2%2.8%3.6%
Walgreen Co6.2%7.9%9.7%9.8%

Quarterly Reporters With an Improving Nine-Month Trend

Source: The Gordman Group
ReatailerLast Reported QuarterLast Six MonthsLast Nine Months
Amazon24.3%23.2%22.1%
Big Lots5.8%5.5%4.5%
Cabela’s3.1%–1.0%–0.8%
Cost Plus–1.3%–2.2%–2.9%
Dick’s Sporting Goods8.9%7.7%7.3%
Famous Footwear8.2%4.4%3.6%
Finish Line–3.3%–5.1%–5.8%
GameStop8.8%6.3%2.9%
Hibbett Sporting Goods7.1%4.1%2.6%
Naturalizer6.0%1.8%1.5%
Payless ShoeSource5.2%3.7%2.6%
QVC12.1%11.1%9.4%
Sears Holdings–4.8%–5.6%–6.5%
Talbots Inc.2.3%1.8%1.5%

Quarterly Reporters with a Declining Nine-Month Trend

Source: The Gordman Group
RetailerLast Reported QuarterLast Six MonthsLast Nine Months
Circuit City5.1%6.6%8.9%
Guitar Center2.9%4.0%4.7%
Lowe’s–4.0%–0.2%1.6%
RadioShack–9.6%–6.4%–4.6%
Urban Outfitters Inc–10.0%–8.6%–6.9%

For a full listing of monthly sales performance, visit www.chainstoreage.com, and click on Monthly Sales under the “Industry Data” headline, on the left column.

Robert Gordman is the president of The Gordman Group, Denver, and is the author of “The Must-Have Customer—7 Steps to Winning the Customer You Haven’t Got.”

Recommended stories

Login or Register to post a comment.