US: Retailers' December 2012 sales roundup
By Katie Smith | 3 January 2013
The following is a general roundup of US apparel and shoe retailers' December 2012 sales results.
Action sportswear and footwear retailer Zumiez posted a 15% rise in net sales to US$120.3m for the five weeks to 29 December, compared with $104.6m the prior year. The company, which operates 502 stores across the US, Canada and Europe, saw comparable store sales edge down 1% against a 10% increase last year.
Denim specialist The Buckle booked a 1.8% increase in net sales during December to reach $185m, compared to $181.8m the same period last year. Comparable store sales climbed 1% for the retailer, which operates 440 stores.
Over at teen clothing retailer The Wet Seal, total sales fell 8.3% to $73m. Comparable store sales declined 9.7% against a 3.7% decrease the year before. Comparable sales at Wet Seal and Arden B were down 9.4% and 11.5% respectively. The company said December sales were below expectations, driven by lower-than-expected transactions. Wet Seal expects its fourth quarter loss to be at or near the low end of its $0.03-0.06 per diluted share range.
Limited Brands, which owns the Victoria's Secret lingerie chain, saw comparable store sales increase 3% during the five-week period. The company, which operates 2,631 specialty stores in the US, posted net sales of $1.95bn, up 4% on the $1.87bn it recorded last year.
At specialty clothing retailer Gap Inc, comparable store sales rose 5%, compared to a 4% decline the same month last year. Net sales were up 5% to $2.08bn against $1.98bn a year ago. The San Francisco-based retailer said customers responded "favourably" to its products and promotions during the holiday season.
Meanwhile, upscale department store operator Nordstrom booked an 8.6% increase in same-store sales during the five weeks ended 29 December. Total retail sales jumped 9.4% to $1.72bn, compared to $1.57bn the prior year. The company, which operates 240 stores, revealed plans to open three Nordstrom Rack shops in the spring.
Kohl's saw total sales rise 4% to $3.37bn in December, compared to $3.25bn last year. Comparable store sales were up 3.4%. The company said sales were "lower than planned" and as a result of late sales in the holiday shopping season, discounts were higher than planned.
Department store group Macy's reported a 3.6% increase in total sales to $5.1bn, compared to $4.92bn a year ago. On a same-store basis, sales were up 4.1% in December. The company, which operates around 840 stores, said it was pleased with the significant progress it made in implementing its omni-channel initiatives through a period of high sales volume during the holiday season.
For Bon-Ton Stores, comparable store sales climbed 2.4%. Total sales edged up 1.5% to $512.9m, compared to $505.2m last year. The retailer, which operates 273 department stores, said its best performers were women's sportswear and dresses as well as women's outerwear and shoes.
Department store retailer Stage Stores saw total sales increase 5% to $287m, compared to $273m the prior year. Comparable store sales rose 2.7%, driven by a "phenomenal final week", which offset softness earlier in the month. The company said its feminine apparel businesses, which includes misses sportswear, petites, plus sizes and junior's, achieved comparable store sales increases that exceeded the company average for December.
At Ross Stores, sales jumped 11% to $1.28bn for the five-week period, compared to $1.15bn the year before. Comparable store sales grew 6% on top of a 9% increase the prior year. The company said it was "pleased" with its same store sales. It also raised its fourth quarter earnings per share guidance to range from $1.05 to $1.06, compared to previous forecasts of between $0.99 and $1.04.
Discount retailer Stein Mart recorded a 5.9% increase in comparable store sales in December, marking the group's sixth consecutive month of comparable sales growth. Total sales were up 6.4% to $176.5m against $166m the same period last year. The company said linens, women's boutique and women's career sportswear posted the strongest sales, while women's casual sportswear, accessories and dresses were more challenged.
Off-price retailer The TJX Companies posted a 6% rise in comparable store sales over an 8% gain last year. Sales were $3.6bn, up 10% over the $3.3bn reported last year. The increase, which was driven by customer traffic, exceeded the group's expectations. As a result, the company has lifted its full-year earnings per share guidance to range from $2.50-2.51, compared to its previous forecast of between $2.44-2.47.
But value-priced fashion retailer The Cato Corp December saw sales slip 4% to $103.3m against $107.5m last year. Same-store sales declined 7%, which was well below expectations. The company has lowered its full-year earnings per diluted share guidance to range from $2.17 to $2.19, compared to previous forecasts of $2.22 to $2.26.
And Target Corp booked booked a 0.8% rise in sales to $10.21bn, compared to $10.14bn the prior year. December comparable-store sales were essentially flat. The company said sales were slightly below its expectations as strong results in the later part of the month did not completely offset softness in the first three weeks.
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