FINANCE

ICSC: November sales fall short

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Sales at U.S. chain stores were up 2.1% in November, or 3% without the effects of gasoline sales, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers. The group had predicted an increase of 3.5% to 4.5%.

“Sales were constrained by weak apparel sales this month,” said Michael P. Niemira, chief economist, ICSC. “November was a very competitive environment for retailers, and the softness in the November tally suggests some cautiousness by consumers.”

Niemira said he anticipates shoppers to return in force this month to complete the two-thirds of gift-buying they have left. The ICSC previously predicted a 3% to 4% year-over-year swell for December.

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FINANCE

Gap’s November same-store sales up 2%

BY Staff Writer

San Francisco — Gap Inc. reported its November 2013 net sales increased 8% compared with last year. Same-store sales for the period rose 2%.

Net sales for the four-week period ended November 30, 2013 were $1.63 billion, compared with net sales of $1.52 billion for the four-week period ended November 24, 2012.

“We are pleased with how we competed and delivered in November, providing a seamless experience for our customers whether they shopped in stores, online or on their mobile devices,” said Glenn Murphy, chairman and chief executive officer of Gap.

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FINANCE

Five Below’s Q3 sales up 27.9%

BY Marianne Wilson

Philadelphia — Five Below reported that its net sales increased by 27.9% to $110.7 million, from $86.6 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2012. Same-store sales rose 9.0%.

Net income was $1.7 million compared to $0.7 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2012.

Thomas Vellios, co-founder and CEO, stated: "We are pleased to have delivered another solid quarter, with a 28% increase in sales and a 35% increase in adjusted operating income. Our results once again demonstrate the appeal of the Five Below value proposition; trend-right product that targets our core teen and pre-teen customer at the $1 to $5 price points."

The company opened 28 net new stores and ended the quarter with 304 stores in 19 states. This represents an increase in stores of 25% from the end of the third quarter of fiscal 2012.

"Our team successfully completed the new store program for 2013 with the opening of 60 net new stores, bringing our total store count to 304,” Vellios added.

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