FINANCE

November same-store hurt by Hurricane Sandy

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York — Many retailers blamed Hurricane Sandy for weak sales in November, although some companies were buoyed later in the month by a long Thanksgiving weekend.

Eighteen retailers reported that sales in November through last Saturday were up 1.7% compared with the year-ago period, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers. That is below the anticipated forecast for a 4.5% to 5.5% gain.

Among the specialty store retailers that reported November comp results, Limited Brands was a big winner – reported a 5% increase in same-store sales and beating analysts’ expected 3.1% rise. Total sales rose to $922 million from $872.6 million.

Gap Inc. recorded a 3% same-store sales increase, but missed Wall Street’s estimated 3.9% rise. By banner, comps climbed 5% at namesake stores, were up 3% at Banana Republic and edged up just 1% at Old Navy stores.

Buckle surprised analysts with a .1% drop in November same-store sales, after a 2% increase was forecast. Wet Seal, on the other hand, beat Wall Street expectations, declining 5.4% when a 6.8% drop was predicted.

Among other results:

  • Cato same-store sales dipped 2%;
  • Stage Stores posted a 13.2% rise.
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FINANCE

Target falters as discounters report a mixed bag in November

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York — Discounters, which are expected to fare well this holiday season, showed mixed results in November. TJX Cos. reported Thursday that November same-store sales climbed 3%, missing Wall Street’s expected 3.6% rise but beating the retailer’s internal expectations.

Target Corp. saw same-store sales fall in November, hurt by weak sales during the first two weeks. Comps dipped 1%, while Wall Street expected a 2.1% gain. Revenue for the month was essentially flat.

“November sales were below our expectations, reflecting weaker-than-planned sales performance in the first two weeks combined with stronger sales growth across all channels later in the month,” said Gregg Steinhafel, Target chairman, president and CEO. “Profitability for the month remained on plan, reflecting our efforts to balance thoughtful price investments in an intensely competitive environment with our continued focus on driving sales.”

Steinhafel sought to reassure investors disturbed by the November performance that the best is yet to come from the company and indicated same store sales for the five week December reporting period would increase in the low single digits.

“With the upcoming launch of the Target/Neiman Marcus Holiday Collection, our unique assortment of exclusive, affordable merchandise and the compelling benefits of 5% REDcard Rewards and our Holiday Price Match, we believe Target has the right plans in place to allow our guests to shop with confidence throughout the holiday season,” Steinhafel said.

As in prior months, Target’s strongest growth came in the food category which produced a mid single digit increase and in health and beauty which experienced a low single digit increase.

Costco Wholesale Club reported Wednesday that its same-store sales rose a better-than-expected 6%.

Among other discounters:

• Ross Stores reported a 2% rise in November comps;
• SteinMart was up 7.1%; and
• Fred’s dropped 3.6%.

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P.Siegel says:
Nov-30-2012 02:30 pm

Target
Target has always been one of the "WONDERS OF THE WORLD" to me, as I've NEVER found a reason to shop there,

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FINANCE

Department stores disappoint in November

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York — Blaming superstorm Sandy for its disappointing November results, Macy’s reported a 0.7% dip in same-store sales and missed Wall Street’s expected 1.5% rise. The results were echoed by much of the category.

"Despite the largest-volume Thanksgiving weekend in our company’s history, we were not able to overcome the weak start to the month, which included the disruption of Hurricane Sandy," said Terry J. Lundgren, chairman, president and CEO of Macy’s. Total sales for the month slipped 0.6% to $2.45 billion.

For the year to date, Macy’s sales totaled $20.786 billion, up 3.2% from total sales of $20.145 billion in the first 43 weeks of 2011. On a same-store basis, Macy’s sales were up 3.1%.

Online sales (Macys.com and Bloomingdales.com combined) were up 39.2% in November and 37.1% in 2012 year-to-date. Online sales are included in the same-store sales calculation for Macy’s.

Kohl’s Corp. experienced a dismal month as well, reporting a same-store sales drop of 5.6%, well short of analysts’ predicted increase of 1.9%. Total sales fell 4.9% to $1.84 billion.

President and CEO Kevin Mansell said: “Though November sales were lower than expectations, we are encouraged by improved sales over the Thanksgiving week.”

Other department store results include:

  • Nordstrom slipped 1.1%; and
  • Bon-Ton edged down 0.1%.
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