ICSC raises December sales estimate
New York City U.S. retail sales rose during the week after Christmas as shoppers redeemed gift cards, and results for all of December probably climbed more than anticipated, the International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs Group said Tuesday in a statement.
Same-store sales rose 2.5% in the week ended Jan. 2 from the year-earlier period. ICSC boosted its December sales-growth estimate to about 2.5% from a previous projection of about 2%.
“For the final week of the fiscal month of December, post-Christmas sales were boosted by consumers redeeming their gift cards,” said Michael Niemira, ICSC’s chief economist. “Holiday sales were late in coming, but showed healthy gains as the season wrapped up.”
MyShape launches new denim line with Cookie Johnson
LOS ANGELES Online retailer MyShape has launched a new denim line by Cookie Johnson.
CJ by Cookie Johnson was launched by Cookie Johnson, wife of NBA superstar Magic Johnson, and partner Michael Glasser, legendary founder of 7 for All Mankind, Citizens of Humanity, and Rich & Skinny. Also on board is top denim designer, Joie Rucker, formerly of Guess, Levi’s and Rich & Skinny.
Johnson said she was inspired to create the line after not being able to find a premium denim jean that fit her curvy figure. “I know MyShape has a great reputation for helping its customers find the right fit, so it seemed like a natural partnership.”
Hope for home in 2010
Okay, the housing market in most parts of the country is still awful, but there are indications that this spring will see improvements in sales of existing homes. That’s good news for Target and its long-suffering home goods category, which benefits from turnover in the housing market as new occupants tend to remodel and refresh existing homes through the purchase of window treatments, rugs, lighting, table top and other decor items.
“We continue to be encouraged by the improvement in the monthly housing data and we have a cautiously optimistic outlook for the housing market in 2010, although soft underlying demand and elevated foreclose activity remain concerns,” according to Citigroup analyst Deborah Weinswig who follows the home improvement retailers and discounters.
One of the most positive indicators is the fact that sales of existing homes spiked 21.2% in October followed by a 42.1% increase in November of last year as buyers took advantage of record low rates and a first time buyer incentive of $8000. With interest rates still low and the first time buyer incentive program extended and broadened to include other buyers expectations are high that sale of existing and new homes will benefit this spring and that is welcome new for Target home good business even if the outlook for the second half of 2010 is less clear and the federal government can’t offer tax incentives indefinitely.