FINANCE

November retail sales top estimates

BY Marianne Wilson

Washington, D.C. – Retail sales in November increased a better-than-expected 0.7% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. (The figure includes categories such as automobiles, gasoline stations, and restaurants.) Analysts were expecting sales to rise 0.6% in last month. The latest retail sales numbers were 4.7% above November 2012 numbers.

Sales, excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants, increased 0.6% seasonally adjusted month-to-month, and 3.9% unadjusted year-over-year, according to the National Retail Federation. Some of the biggest gains were by furniture, electronics and building materials retailers.

“Once again, consumers have demonstrated their ability to drive the economy forward,” NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz. “Although this holiday season will remain challenging for some retailers, today’s sales report bodes well for a solid holiday sales season, and may provide the foundation for accelerating economic growth and momentum in the New Year.”

Other findings from the November retail sales report include:

  • Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers stores’ sales increased 1.8% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 2.7% unadjusted year-over-year.

  • Clothing and clothing accessories stores’ sales decreased 0.2% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month yet increased 4.4% unadjusted year-over-year.


  • Electronics and appliance stores’ sales increased 1.1% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 8.0% unadjusted year-over-year.

  • Furniture and home furnishing stores’ sales increased 1.2 percent seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 9.4% unadjusted year-over-year.

  • General merchandise stores’ sales increased 0.1% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 0.9% unadjusted year-over-year.

  • Health and personal care stores’ sales were flat seasonally-adjusted month-to-month yet increased 4.5% unadjusted year-over-year.

  • Nonstore retailers’ sales increased 2.2% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 6.5% unadjusted year-over-year.

  • Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores’ sales increased 0.1% seasonally-adjusted month-to-month and 5.5% unadjusted year-over-year.
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News

Washington D.C.’s first two Walmarts

BY CSA STAFF

Last week Walmart made headlines when it opened two stores in Washington D.C., drawing a small group of protestors and countless customers. But it seems like these Walmart locations are not quite like the others. BuzzFeed compiled a list of 19 things that make D.C.’s first Walmart stores stand out from the rest.

Click here to read the list.

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OPERATIONS

Report: Penney cutting back on Joe Fresh, Michael Graves and Martha Stewart

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — J.C. Penny will eliminate the jcp menswear brand and reduce the assortments in its Joe Fresh, Michael Graves and Martha Stewart lines, Reuters reported. All four brands were introduced by former CEO Ron Johnson. Penney plans to use the resulting space to emphasize its exclusive private-label brands.

Starting in January, Penney will shrink its Joe Fresh in-store shops and reduce the assortment, the report said, moving the shops away from the front entry to give a more prominent spot to the chain’s own a.n.a and jcp women’s wear collections.

“What we now need is to edit things out that didn’t resonate sufficiently," CEO Mike Ullman told Reuters in an interview.

In candid comments, Ullman said, "We don’t have six or seven years to get our business back. Half of our business has to be brands that we can produce profitably."

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