Kantar: December same-store sales soften
Columbus, Ohio — Retail same-store sales eased to 3.2% growth in December in the wake of November’s exceptionally strong promotional activity and an ongoing shift toward online shopping, according to Kantar Retail. The sales-weighted composite for the 31 retailers reporting — most of them apparel retailers — was weaker than the 5.6% same-store sales gain last month, but slightly better than the 3.0% gain in December of 2009. (The calculations no longer include Walmart, which stopped reporting monthly results in 2009. )
“It’s clear that November’s great in-store deals robbed spending from December. And in December shoppers were partial to spending online, perhaps encouraged even more by bad weather late in the month. One key exception was upscale department stores, which saw sales growth hold steady or improve in December,” said Frank Badillo, senior economist.
Planalytics: Frigid temps and snow to up demand for winter goods
Berwyn, Penn. — Retailers are likely to experience high demand for winter goods during the upcoming week. Beginning this weekend and carrying through next week, virtually all of North America should prepare for below normal temperatures, according to Planalytics. Most locations east of the Rockies can expect temperatures to trend 10°F to 20°F colder than both normal and last year, with the main exception being the Southwest where temperatures will trend normal to slightly above normal. New York City and other Northeast locations will experience light to moderate snowfall over the next few days into this weekend.
The arctic outbreak will be welcome news for those looking to clear remaining inventory of cold weather items such as heaters, electric blankets, sweaters, scarves, hats and gloves, Planalytics noted. Consumables such as soup and hot chocolate will also be in high demand.
In addition to the frigid temperatures, weather models are showing the potential for a traffic-limiting event early next week along the southern tier, and the possibility of yet more snow in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions. Locations in the extreme southern tier are likely to experience cold rain; locales north of Dallas to Atlanta could see ice/snow early next week. Portions of the mid-south and Tennessee Valley (e.g. Nashville) may experience more snow than ice. Businesses should be prepared for increased demand of items such as ice melt, scrapers, and windshield fluid in advance of this event, Planalytics advised.
Report: Anchor Blue to liquidate
New York City — Teen specialty retailer Anchor Blue has closed its headquarters and is in the process of winding down operations at its 120 stores, Women’s Wear Daily reported.
Based in Corona, Calif., Anchor Blue is owned by private equity firm Sun Capital partners.