Black Friday no match for Hurricane Sandy disruption
Strong Black Friday week sales were no match for the disruption caused by Hurricane Sandy, as US retailers hope to make up lost sales in December.
According to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), sales rose 1.7% during November.
Terry Lundgren, the chairman, president and CEO of Macy's, which recorded a 0.7% decline in same-store sales decline over the month, summed up the situation for many retailers: "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. Yet we remain on track to deliver a very strong sales performance in the fourth quarter, consistent with our guidance."
Department store operator Kohl's, which with a 5.6% same store sales decline, posted the biggest negative surprise, according to Retail Metrics president Ken Perkins.
Kohl's president Kevin Mansell emphasised that while sales were "below expectations", it was encouraged by improved sales over the Thanksgiving week.
"There was a significant shift in Black Friday-related sales into our e-commerce channel. For the week, both transactions and sales in e-commerce increased over 50% with most of these sales being recognised in December. The combination of these e-commerce sales and our store sales resulted in higher sales for the last week of the month," Mansell said.
Indeed, for ICSC vice president of research and chief economist Michael Niemira, there were other factors at play, including the impact of online and lay-away purchases made in November that will be recognised in December.
"Three factors were responsible for the below plan performance," said Niemira. "First, the impact of Superstorm Sandy on the first two weeks of the fiscal month; second, online sales made during the final week of the month actually will be booked during December's fiscal month once the items are shipped; and third, the strength of lay-away purchases during November which also will be booked in December once the full-payments are made."
Yet the news wasn't all bad, Stage Stores saw comparable store sales increase 13.2% during November, despite the disruptions of Hurricane Sandy. President and CEO Michael Glazer said the increase got it off to a "fantastic start to the holiday season".
"Despite the disruptions caused by Superstorm Sandy early in the month, we achieved a comparable store sales increase each week of November, culminating in a gain of over 20% in the week of Thanksgiving. We participated like never before during the Thanksgiving weekend as we offered some of our most exciting and compelling holiday offers and deals ever. Our strategy worked well as we achieved higher sales while maintaining our merchandise margin rate. We are extremely encouraged by our outstanding November results and fully expect that our positive momentum will continue in December," he said.
The results will put a heavier burden on December to make up for lost sales, according to Perkins, but retailers are in a good position to capitalise.
Perkins said: "We are now in the midst of a traditional lull period which stretches from this past Monday all the way through Saturday 15 December. The period is prolonged this year as there are two additional shopping days prior to Christmas this year. Retailers will need to generate some buzz and make it worthwhile for consumers to hit the mall and web sites during this period. This has been difficult the past few years as sales have generally tailed off without steep discounts. Retailers are generally in good inventory positions this year.
"They also have a nice margin tailwind in that cotton prices have come down from last year so input costs are not has high. All of this could lead to a game of chicken to see who blinks first with deep price cuts. Retailers can wait it out longer this year because they are not carrying as much inventory."
Regional department store retailer Stage Stores has reported a deeper first-quarter loss, impacted by a $9.7m one-off charge and cooler temperatures, which hurt sales of seasonal merchandise....
Kohl’s operates department stores that sell moderately-priced branded and private label apparel, home products, and housewares. Thanks to its size, the company is able to offer top brands and exclusiv...
Department store operator Kohl's has reported a 4% decline in first-quarter net profit because of lower-than-expected sales....
Macys Inc, formerly known as Federated Department Stores, continues to be the leading department store operator, operating under the fascias Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s. Its “My Macy’s” initiative, a lo...
US department store retailer Macy's has today (15 May) booked a 19.9% increase in first-quarter profit on solid sales, despite the negative impact of unseasonably cool weather and weakened demand....
Omaha-based investment firm Waitt Company has acquired the Judith Leiber, Adrienne Vittadini and Taryn Rose brands as part of a co-investment with brand development company Authentic Brands Group....
US women's wear chain Cache has appointed Daphne Pappas as executive vice president, chief merchandise officer. ...
- Improved supplier capabilities benefit Next
- China and Vietnam lead US apparel imports in July
- THE FLANARANT: Understand win-win or lose out
- Next H1: What the analysts say
- Abercrombie & Fitch to lose logos in fashion focus
- Brandix selects first "game-changing" innovations
- Bagir to invest in Ethiopia as H1 loss deepens
- TPP talks "make progress" but issues remain
- US cotton production set to decline
- Hanesbrands axes Costa Rican jobs in Vietnam move
- Wool in the 21st Century: new prospects for a familiar fibre
- Apparel Market in China to 2018 - Market Size, Trends, and Forecasts
- Global market review of denim and jeanswear – forecasts to 2020
- Global Database of the Top 1000 Apparel Producers - Company Names, Financial Performance, Key Executives, and Contact Details
- Global Database of the Top 1000 Cut and Sew Apparel Producers - Company Names, Financial Performance, Key Executives, and Contact Details