Columbus, Ohio Retail same-store sales (excluding Walmart, which no longer reports monthly sales) weakened in November but still stayed positive compared with October, according to a Retail Forward report. Most retailers reported strong results for the Black Friday weekend, but weaker results earlier in the month.
Sales-weighted same-store sales weakened to a 0.9% gain in November for 31 retailers -- most of them apparel retailers -- reporting monthly results on Thursday. That was worse than the 2.3% gain last month, but better than the 7.7% decline in November 2008 for the same composite measure calculated without Walmart. Including Walmart, same-store sales were down 2.5% in November 2008.
Retailers said that warm weather dampened sales of winter clothing, but that shoppers responded well to post-Thanksgiving promotions.
“Shoppers continue to give signs that they are ready to loosen the grip on their spending plans, but at the same time remain very cautious and deal-focused in their spending,” said Frank Badillo, senior economist at Retail Forward.
November’s results reflect continuing improvement -- although uneven from month-to-month -- in shoppers’ intentions to spend. Spending plans reported by shoppers in November were the best since February 2008, according to Retail Forward’s November ShopperScape survey.
The survey noted that more than half of shoppers (53%) plan to maintain near-term spending levels about the same as last year, which is only the second time since February 2008 that more than half of shoppers planned to do so.
The survey also found that the percentage of shoppers planning to curb their near-term spending declined to 37% in November, the lowest percentage since February 2008. Few shoppers (10%) plan to spend more than last year, but that’s the largest share since September 2008.
In addition, fewer shoppers feel better off about their household income this November (23%) compared with last November (27%).
For the holidays, the ShopperScape results suggested that household spending will be somewhere between last year and 2007 -- which was weak as the country was entering the recession, but was not as dreadful as the 2008 holiday.