FINANCE

Retail sales results mixed in January

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York — Although there were some surprising gains among retailers in January, for the most part results were expectedly mixed, as consumers took a hit on their take-home pay from higher payroll taxes but cooler weather gave a boost to others.

Costco Wholesale Corp. edged Wall Street expectations with a 4% same-store sales increase in January; analysts forecast a 3.9% advance. TJX Cos. reported a 3% rise in monthly same-store sales, and raised its fourth quarter and full-year outlook. Kohl’s shone with a 13.3% rise, but The Buckle widely missed with a 2% drop.

Overall, analysts expect 3.5% same-store sales growth for January across 18 retailers, excluding Walgreens and Rite-Aid, according to Thomson Reuters. That would be down from 4.4% growth in January 2012.

Most of the specialty store players performed well in January. Gap saw same-store sales rise 8% in January, handily beating Wall Street’s expected 4% gain. By brand, same-store sales rose 12% at Old Navy and 8% at both Gap and Banana Republic. Total revenue for the month rose 28% to $1.13 billion.

“We’re pleased with the continued momentum in the business across all our brands in North America,” said Glenn Murphy, chairman and CEO, Gap Inc. “As we transition to 2013, our focus remains on delivering compelling product in order to sustain our positive sales performance.”

The Limited also delivered a strong January showing. Same-store sales surged 9%, and total sales rose to $986.4 million from $774.5 million.

Wet Seal, on the other hand, disappointed with a steep same-store sales decline of 9.4%, far wider than the 2.3% drop expected by Wall Street. The struggling retailer found some success with its Arden B chain, which rose 22.8% on a same-store basis, but namesake stores plummeted 13.4%.

Other specialty store results include:

  • The Buckle dropped 2%, while analysts expected a 1.3% gain;
  • Hot Topic rose 2.6%;
  • Cato dropped 12%;
  • Stage rose 10.5%; and
  • Zumiez same-store sales rose 2.6%.
keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

Polls

Consumer confidence is high. Is that reflected in your stores’ revenues?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
News

Whirlpool, Habitat build hope in Benton Harbor

BY CSA STAFF

BENTON HARBOR, Mich.— Whirlpool Corporation (WHR) and Harbor Habitat for Humanity have completed construction on the homes built in partnership with Tynisha Murphy and the Patterson family, dedicating the homes in a ceremony that took place Dec. 8. The builds took place on side-by-side lots in the Harbor Shores community of Benton Harbor.

"We couldn’t be happier about our long-standing partnership with Whirlpool Corporation," said Erin Hudson, Executive Director of Harbor Habitat for Humanity. "The dedication of the company and its tireless volunteers has truly made a difference in our community and in communities across the country."

Through this build, and the volunteer hours the family put in, Patrick and Brunetta Patterson have achieved their goal of home ownership – improving the living situation for their three daughters and two grandchildren. The Pattersons, who are actively involved in their local church, Our Center for Better Living, never believed that would be possible.

"We are extremely thankful for the opportunity to become homeowners," said Patrick Patterson. "It has been an absolute pleasure to work side-by-side with these volunteers. Without Habitat for Humanity and Whirlpool, our dream never would have become a reality."

The build is part of Whirlpool Corporation-sponsored Habitat builds that took place throughout the United States in 2012. Whirlpool also sponsored homes in Amana, Iowa, Clyde, Ohio and at Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind.

Whirlpool has been a partner of Habitat for Humanity International for 12 years, supporting Habitat’s work in 240 countries and sponsoring more than 100 homes since the partnership began in 1999. In that time, the company has donated a range and ENERGY STAR qualified refrigerator to every Habitat home in the U.S. and Canada, totaling more than 140,000 appliances. Whirlpool also supports and participates in the annual Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project and is the first corporation to provide on-going donations to Habitat for Humanity ReStore resale outlets, helping to raise an additional $4.6 million for the organization.

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

Polls

Consumer confidence is high. Is that reflected in your stores’ revenues?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
News

Does Social Responsibility = Retail Opportunity?

BY Jeff Green

In case you missed it, one of America’s biggest and most iconic brands was in the news recently for something other than the latest sales figures: Wal-Mart announced an ambitious plan to hire approximately 100,000 veterans over the next five years.

The plan would give veterans who have been honorably discharged since the beginning of 2012 priority consideration for available Wal-Mart jobs within 50 miles of their homes (provided that job applicants are able to perform the work, and to pass a drug test and a criminal background check). In a demographic with rates of unemployment dramatically higher than the national unemployment rate, that seems like a pretty big deal, or at least a big step in the right direction.

While I see this as a laudable move by Wal-Mart, and an initiative that hopefully encourages other retailers to implement similar programs, it made me consider the social consciousness expected from retailers today. These days it seems like more and more brands are rolling out a wide range of charitable initiatives, “green” practices and community outreach programs. But why? Are they doing it out of the goodness of their hearts — because they are responsible corporate citizens and it is the proverbial “right thing to do?” Or (to take a more cynical view) are they reaching out because in today’s retail marketplace, socially conscious behavior can be an effective marketing tool, brand-builder, and even reputation maker? Perhaps it is a little bit of all of these.

We tend to equate social consciousness in the retail world more with names like Chipotle and Ben and Jerry’s than with a huge, value-oriented retailer like Wal-Mart. The reason has a lot to do with how we, as a society and as consumers, think about and define socially conscious behavior. Wal-Mart is a great example of how a retailer’s approach to social issues can vary dramatically depending on your perspective. For example, is it commendable that Wal-Mart provides a large number of jobs and sells decent goods at an affordable price? Or is that overridden by the fact that Wal-Mart is often criticized for providing a lackluster suite of benefits and health coverage to its employees? And should we find it any less admirable that Wal-Mart is providing jobs to veterans once we realize that the lion’s share of those positions will pay well under $30,000 a year? Ultimately I think trade-offs and compromises are always going to be present when it comes to these issues, and our view of how socially responsible any retailer actually is will largely depend on what our personal priorities might be. It is also tough to change the way the public perceives you on these issues. Very few people realize that, for example, Wal-Mart has been a pioneer in implementing a wide range of green and energy efficient standards, including the early adoption of compact fluorescent light bulbs.

No matter where you come down on these issues, one aspect of social consciousness in the retail world is indisputable: consistently responsible behavior pays for itself. The publicity alone is a significant factor: the stories about a big social program like Wal-Mart’s veterans hiring initiative will not only reach a wide audience, but have the potential to generate a great deal of good will and even expand their customer base beyond their traditional demographic. To be clear, I don’t think these kinds of programs are simply marketing ploys — they can add real value and vitality to a brand. With the proper follow through, I believe that retailers who make socially responsible behavior a regular part of their business model will realize a tangible benefit in terms of the way their brand is perceived. Ultimately, of course, that translates to a more robust bottom line. It’s no longer a small niche to be a “green” retailer or a socially conscious brand: Every retailer must consider the social implications of their business and community actions. More and more are taking this step every day.

In the long run, I believe that’s a good thing — both for retailers and for the communities they serve. Do you agree retailers no longer have a choice — that they must tackle issues of social responsibility? Is this an added burden or an opportunity for brick-and-mortar stores to show their value in local communities? We’d love to hear your thoughts through a comment below or you can contact me directly at [email protected].


Click here for past columns by Jeff Green.

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

S.Rose says:
Mar-03-2013 12:34 pm

Really I impressed from this
Really I impressed from this post. Post is a genius and knows how to keep the readers connected. thanks for sharing this with us Pakistan Real Politics

S.Rose says:
Mar-03-2013 12:34 pm

Really I impressed from this post. Post is a genius and knows how to keep the readers connected. thanks for sharing this with us Pakistan Real Politics

Z.Ali says:
Feb-20-2013 01:05 pm

Thanks for your researched
Thanks for your researched posting! I actually enjoyed reading it, you will be a great author.I will ensure that I bookmark your blog and will come back in the foreseeable future.locksmith Oakland

Z.Ali says:
Feb-20-2013 01:05 pm

Thanks for your researched posting! I actually enjoyed reading it, you will be a great author.I will ensure that I bookmark your blog and will come back in the foreseeable future.locksmith Oakland

Polls

Consumer confidence is high. Is that reflected in your stores’ revenues?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...