Target falters as discounters report a mixed bag in November
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%.
Target has always been one of the "WONDERS OF THE WORLD" to me, as I've NEVER found a reason to shop there,
Department stores disappoint in November
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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Forget game-changer, U of A group recognized as world changer
The Sustainability Consortium jointly administered by the University of Arkansas and the University of Arizona, with support from Walmart and many of its suppliers, is ranked among 10 ideas changing the way people live by Scientific American.
The publication’s list of 10 World Changing Ideas for 2012 where characterized as, "innovations that are radical enough to change our lives." The 90-member consortium describes itself as a global organization of businesses, universities and nonprofit organizations that develops science-based tools to advance the measurement and reporting of consumer product sustainability.
"We are honored, and we humbly agree," said Jon Johnson, professor of management in the Sam M. Walton College of Business and the Sustainability Consortium’s co-founder and academic director. "That has always been our focus all along – to develop robust, science-based knowledge and tools that companies all over the world can use. It was our hope that our work would effect real change – economically, socially and environmentally. We are seeing that now, and others are starting to notice, which is gratifying."
The Sustainability Consortium was recognized as a superior sustainability measurement and reporting system because of its comprehensive nature and cross-sector approach. The consortium will publish information for more than 100 product categories in 2012. The organization focuses on the areas of food, beverage, agriculture, electronics, toys, home and personal care, paper, pulp and forestry, and packaging. An additional group focused on clothing, footwear and textiles will begin working in February 2013.
"The consortium’s ratings will factor in closely held data on emissions, waste, labor practices, water usage and other sensitive factors," said Adam Piore, who wrote the article for Scientific American. "The data should make the index more comprehensive than others."
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