Thursday, December 3, 2009
Black Friday fails to boost stores
Parija B. Kavilanz
Posted By Ahmed Al-Salem
Retailers placed a lot of hope on the Thanksgiving weekend gift buying this year, but early sales results for the month released Thursday showed many merchants did not get the big boost they were seeking.
Some specialty sellers were hit especially hard. Among them same-store sales at teen clothing chain Hot Topic fell 11.7%. last month. Analysts had expected a decline of 8.1%, according to sales tracker Thomson Reuters.
Children's Place, a seller of clothing and accessories for young kids, suffered a 13% drop in its same-store sales versus expectations for a 1% increase.
Sales at another youth merchandise chain Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) slumped 17%
Elsewhere, total sales at No. 1 warehouse club operator Costco (COST, Fortune 500) rose 6% compared to a forecast for an increase of 8.1%
Same-store sales are a key measure of a retailer's performance and measure sales at stores open at least a year.
Thomson Reuters, which tracks monthly same-store sales for 30 chains such as Target (TGT, Fortune 500), Gap and J.C. Penney (JCP, Fortune 500), said 15 of the retailers in its Same Store Sales Index have reported their results. Of those 15, 85% missed analysts' sales estimates while 15% beat expectations.
Overall, the firm has expected November sales for the group to grow 2.1% compared to a steep 7.8% decline last year.
However, the much softer-than-expected early numbers prompted Thomson Reuters retail analyst Jharonne Martis to say that November's performance will most likely be worse than expected
November is a critical month for retailers since it marks the start of the year-end holiday shopping season. November and December together can account for 50% or more of merchants' annual sales and profits for the full year. To top of page