Cautious US consumers weigh on January retail sales
Post-holiday discounts helped many US retailers lift their sales in January, according to monthly figures released yesterday (2 February), but overall results were mixed as many consumers shopped cautiously amid the struggling economy.
For apparel retailers there was the added challenge of warm weather curbing sales of winter coats, boots and other winter basics, as well as tougher year-ago comparisons.
That said, retail same-store sales stepped up to a 4.9% gain in January, largely on the back of improved results from retailers such as Target, the second-largest US discount retailer, according to Kantar Retail. This was better than the 3.6% same-store sales gain last month and the 4.2% gain in January 2011.
"Whether January's growth can be sustained may depend on whether shoppers' spending intentions show more signs of stalling out in the months ahead," said senior economist Frank Badillo.
"That underlying trend appears to be overwhelmed at the moment by the mixed retail and economic reports."
For many retailers January is the quietest month of the year as shoppers tighten their belts after Christmas and stores try to clear unsold inventories.
Regional department store operator Stage Stores saw its same-store sales fall 0.1%, and said its gross margin was "negatively impacted by the promotional business environment."
While Bon-Ton Stores, where same-store sales fell 3.5%, weaker than expected January sales were blamed on the "continuation of the milder weather in our markets, which had an adverse impact on sales of cold-weather merchandise and comprised the majority of our sales shortfall."
Disappointing results were also seen at department-store chain Dillard's, where revenue at stores open at least a year were flat with last year. Sales also dropped 13% at teen clothier Wet Seal, while Gap Inc blamed its 4% fall in comps on a "clearance-based" January.
Other chains like Macy's saw a 2.4% increase but missed analyst estimates.
Winners included Victoria's Secret parent Limited Brands where same-store sales were up 9%; and an even higher 10.5% gain at Saks Inc where women's contemporary and "gold range" designer apparel and men's clothing and contemporary apparel sold particularly well.
Target, meanwhile, topped expectations with a 4.3% rise in same- store sales, with its strongest performers including shoes, and boys' and girls' clothing.
A number of US retailers have reported worse than expected June sales after experiencing rocky demand across the month....
The following is a general roundup of US apparel and shoe retailers' June 2012 sales results. ...
After a weaker April, many US retailers reported stronger May sales, with a number recording better-than expected results. ...
The following is a general roundup of US apparel and shoe retailers' May 2012 sales results. ...
Brand management company Cherokee has appointed Frank Tworecke to its board of directors, replacing Dave Mullen, who has retired....
The most-read stories on just-style this week include just-style's June management briefing focusing on fast fashion, N Brown announcing the retirement of its CEO and chairman, and a report that Nicar...
Luxury women's fashion brand Alberto Makali has selected NGC's Global Enterprise Suite as an integrated solution for PLM and ERP to help support its global growth....
- Speed to market key to Adidas 2020 growth plan
- SuperGroup to adapt sourcing model for speed
- SOURCING: Production problems weigh on Pakistan
- Cutting-edge companies focus on consumer needs
- What next for smart fabrics and garments?
- Transparency call for German apparel firms
- Lululemon Athletica on “strong growth” track
- PVH “pleased” after swinging to Q4 profit
- Organic cotton assessment tool launches
- El Corte Ingles to accelerate time to market
- Myanmar's Garment Sector - Opportunities & Challenges in 2015
- Apparel Retail: Top 5 Emerging Markets Industry Guide
- Management briefing: Outlook 2015: Apparel industry issues in the year ahead
- Outdoor performance apparel: peaks, valleys, and green fields
- Global market review of swimwear - forecasts to 2019