Stein Mart swings to loss in Q3
Jacksonville, Fla. — Stein Mart Inc. reported Thursday that it moved to a loss in the quarter ended Oct. 29, recording a loss of $1.8 million compared with a profit of $4.3 million a year earlier.
Gross profit margin fell to 23.8% from 25.4%, due mainly to increased markdowns and higher buying costs.
Revenue dropped 4% to $258.5 million from $267.9 million, a consistent trend since 2007. Same-store sales fell 2.9%.
"Promotions will continue to be an important driver of customer foot traffic, but we need to get back to being an every day value merchandise focused retailer," interim CEO Jay Stein said in a statement.
Report: Black Friday performance not barometer for season
Solihull, England — Visitor analytics provider Experian FootFall said Thursday that Black Friday’s retail performance isn’t necessarily an indication of how the holiday season will fare.
According to FootFall, the 2011 calendar shift could impact consumer behavior this season, potentially transferring the large majority of shopping trips and consumer spending to later in the season. Because Christmas falls on a Sunday, historical performance suggests the week leading up to the holiday will be crucial for retailers, containing several of the top spending days this holiday shopping season.
“The 2011 calendar shift will most likely place added emphasis on the days leading into Christmas as procrastinating shoppers could spend heavily on the Thursday and Friday leading into Christmas weekend,” said Gary Whittemore, global development director of Experian FootFall. “Although Black Friday is still very important and will once again be one of the top performing days, in reality many retailers will have the opportunity to recover from a slower start by reviewing historical performance and effectively preparing stores to capitalize on this late season rush.”
The company predicts that three of the top performing days of the holiday shopping season could fall in the seven day period from Dec. 17 – 24, including Dec. 17 (Saturday), Dec. 22 (Thursday) and Dec. 23 (Friday).
BDO USA: Retailers forecast small uptick on Black Friday, Cyber Monday
Chicago — According to a BDO USA survey of 100 CMOs at leading U.S. retailers, just 27% expect to see an increase in Black Friday sales, down from 38% in 2010.
Similarly, only 24% project an increase in Cyber Monday sales, with the vast majority (74%) expecting flat sales. Overall, CMOs project a 1.6% increase in Black Friday sales (down from 3.8% in 2010) and a 2.5% increase in Cyber Monday sales.
The vast majority of CMOs (78%) said they expect to see more discounts and promotions overall this holiday season compared to last year. This is up 21% from 2010 when 64% of retailers said they expected to see more discounting.
“Black Friday is not disappearing, but deal-fatigued shoppers have been there and done that,” said Ted Vaughan, partner in the Retail and Consumer Product Practice at BDO USA, LLP. “With new promotional strategies and earlier discounting, retailers are looking to create more spending triggers to get an edge and keep inventory moving throughout the season.”
Other major findings of the BDO Retail Compass Survey of CMOs include: 42% of CMOs are equally focusing promotions and discounts online and in stores this year – a dramatic change from 2010 when 59% said they were focusing the majority of promotions and discounts just in stores.
Most CMOs (51%) expect retailers will offer the most discounts in the electronics category this year, followed by apparel (25%).
When asked what online promotional tactic will convert the most sales this season, CMOs are split between email promotions (28%), search engine marketing (26%) and the ever-popular free shipping (23%). Promotions via social media are seen as the top sales tool for another 18% of CMOs, up 80% from 2010 (10%).