Archive for the 'holiday sales' Category

So Holiday Sales Weren’t So Good After All

The Fed came out with its numbers yesterday, and it turns out that holiday retail sales in December were disappointing, falling 0.3% from November. But the good news is that they rose 5.4% from December 2008.

Hit the hardest were businesses termed as “electronics and appliance” stores, which fell 2.6% month over month, while “general merchandise stores” decreased 0.8%. Apparel dropped 0.6%.

On a brighter note, “sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores” rose 1.6%, and “furniture and home furnishings stores” inched up 0.3%. Department stores were flat.

As this Washington Post article notes, in its December report, the Commerce Department revised November’s increase over October from 1.3% to 1.8%, so that contributed to last month’s lag.

In summary, it looks like sales were better from last year, but still far from “good.” Are we seeing a slow recovery, no recovery, or are these figures not very good indicators of what’s really happening in the industry?

ALSO: Zale’s Woes Are a Contrast to a Shining Tiffany.

Holiday Sales Were Actually Decent?

We’re sure that all sorts of information like is going to come out over the next few days. But an early report has holiday sales, from Black Friday to Christmas Eve, rising by 3.6%.

The data, provided by a MasterCard division, is an improvement over the 2.3% drop tracked a year ago. And these better-than-expected results happened in spite of the major storms taking place throughout the Northeast and Midwest.
Continue reading ‘Holiday Sales Were Actually Decent?’

Retailers Not Holiday Deep Discounting

So as the holiday season enters its last few shopping days, it looks as if retailers aren’t going the Black Friday route and offering deep discounts to draw in throngs of shoppers.

“It’s a much more controlled environment,” Saks CEO Stephen Sadove was quoted saying in the Wall Street Journal.
Continue reading ‘Retailers Not Holiday Deep Discounting’

Are Black Friday Numbers a Surprise?

Black Friday weekend has come and gone, and most reports make it sound like retail sales were marginal at best.

The National Retail Federation says that more people shopped but spent less money.The average amount each customer spent, it says dropped to $343.31, down from $372.57 last year, but total sales were flat, at $42.1 billion.
Continue reading ‘Are Black Friday Numbers a Surprise?’

Major Retail Bankruptcies Not on Horizon

A recent Fitch Ratings report predicts a holiday season that’s better than some worst-case scenarios out there. It also says that due to liquidity improvements, we’re not likely to see retailers file the same number of bankruptcies that we did in 2008 and early this year.

However, the outfit does recognize that the consumer is still strapped. Fitch expects unemployment to reach 10.5% next year, and credit will remain tight.
Continue reading ‘Major Retail Bankruptcies Not on Horizon’

Sears Starts Black Friday Early, On Wrong Day

This Saturday, on Halloween, Sears is launching a campaign called “Black Friday Now,” with “doorbuster” deals on Christmas trees, work boots, diamond-stud earrings and other select items. The deals will take place every Saturday until Christmas.

The retailer is saying that the move is a response to customers wanting deep-discount deals before the traditional Black Friday, which falls on the day after Thanksgiving. But we’re thinking it’s more of a move to combat Sears’ dismal sales results.
Continue reading ‘Sears Starts Black Friday Early, On Wrong Day’

Are Holiday Sales Really Looking Up?

Most industry watchers out there predict that this year’s holiday season won’t be as gloomy as last year’s. A recent Bloomberg article puts sales growth at 1.5% during the period.

Part of the good news is that TJX Cos. raised its sales expectations for the fourth quarter. But since TJX is one of the rare over performers in the recession, is that really anything to be surprised about?
Continue reading ‘Are Holiday Sales Really Looking Up?’

Prepare For a Flat Holiday

Most predictions we are seeing out there call for flat or slight negative drop in this year’s holiday sales. The National Retail Federation just came out with its prediction, a 1% decrease.

The drop might not be as bad as last year, but we still think it’s extreme, considering the industry will still suffer a decline over the major 3.4% fall the NRF calculated after 2008’s numbers came in.
Continue reading ‘Prepare For a Flat Holiday’

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

[Editor's Note: Ian Ritter is taking a much deserved vacation over the next week, and GlobeSt.com retail reporter Debra Hazel is filling in for him on Counter Culture. Please be nice.]

Given that we’re not even past Labor Day yet, it’s a bit tough to think ahead to the holiday selling season. But yesterday’s Women’s Wear Daily reported that many retail observers expect a tough season.

Some expect sales to be flat at best – even though comparisons will be with the abysmal holiday 2008 numbers. Others are a bit more hopeful, given last year’s weakness.

What are your expectations for the holiday selling season? What will be the top seller? Will Sony’s introduction of the “Daily” reader, a competitor to Amazon’s Kindle, boost electronics sales? Or is it just too soon to tell?

December Sales: Not Looking So Good

Most retailers don’t post their official December sales results until tomorrow, but early data coming in doesn’t look all that promising.

According to reports on MasterCard’s latest SpendingPulse survey, which tracks transaction data, apparel and department-store sales fell 18.3% in December.
Continue reading ‘December Sales: Not Looking So Good’


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