Wal-Mart Estimates 2.2% Comps in December
Bentonville, Ark., Wal-Mart Stores’ latest estimate for December comparable-store sales is 2.2%—at the low end of its original estimate of 2% to 4% gain. The company said strong demand for gift cards would have the effect of pushing many sales from December into January, when gift card recipients redeem their cards for merchandise. Many analysts were expecting sales closer to 3%.
Study: Thanksgiving Shopper Traffic Flat
Chicago, Acompany that tracks shopper traffic at malls and retail centers found a relatively flat sales performance for the Thanksgiving weekend. ShopperTrak RCT Corp.’s Retail Traffic Index (SRTI) today reported that total U.S. retail traffic during the first two days of the annually strong Thanksgiving weekend rose 0.1% as compared to same two-day period in 2004, paralleling the rather flat sales performance reported in the company’s NRSE sales data from the same period this holiday season. On a daily basis, preliminary traffic for Black Friday fell 0.6%, and Black Saturday faired a bit better, rising 1.1%.
Garden Ridge to Close Store in Airtex, Texas
Houston, Garden Ridge will close its second-oldest store in the chain, and will relocate it later in 2006. The 35-store Garden Ridge chain lost its Airtex store lease, and will close its doors in January. “This is a bittersweet moment in the history of Garden Ridge,” said CEO Tom Kibarian. “Closing one of the original stores in the chain is hard on everyone, but with Airtex store sales representing less than 2% of the chain, we feel it’s time to relocate the store to achieve continued growth and future expansion.” The store will stay in the Houston area.