US: Retailers' November 2011 sales roundup
By Leonie Barrie | 1 December 2011
The following is a general roundup of US apparel and shoe retailers' November 2011 sales results.
Denim specialist The Buckle Inc posted a 9.2% rise in net sales to $94.9m in the four-week period to 26 November, up from $86.9m a year earlier. Same-store sales at stores open at least one year were up 6.9%.
Regional department store retailer Stage Stores Inc saw its total sales for the four weeks increase 4.3% to $121m from $116m last year. Comparable store sales rose 2.3%, with gains in footwear, junior's, and young men's merchandise categories. The company operates stores under the Bealls, Goody's, Palais Royal, Peebles, Stage and Steele's names.
Teen clothier Wet Seal Inc said its November same-store sales were "above plan," driven by better than expected results at the Wet Seal chain. Net sales edged up 0.8% to $51.1m. But same-store sales fell 3.1%, with a decline of 1.8% at its Wet Seal stores and a fall of 11.2% at Arden B. E-commerce sales for the month dropped 18%.
At value-priced fashion retailer The Cato Corporation, which operates the Cato, Versona and It's Fashion divisions, sales fell 3% to $63.6m from $65.7m a year earlier. Same-store sales were also down, dropping by 5%. The results reflect the "continuing difficult environment for middle and lower income customers" and difficult comparisons with last year, it said.
At specialty clothing retailer Gap Inc, net sales for the four weeks to 26 November fell 3% to $1.47bn, compared with $1.51bn in the same period last year. Same-store sales were down 5%, with comparable sales - including online sales - in its north American operations falling 2% at Gap, flat at Banana Republic, and tumbling 7% at Old Navy. International same-store sales fell 9%.
Limited Brands Inc, operator of the Victoria's Secret and La Senza chains, posted a drop of 2.3% in its net sales, which fell to $872.6m from $893.0m for the four week period. It said the year-on-year decline in revenues was driven by the sale of its Mast Global Fashions third party apparel sourcing business at the beginning of the month. But comparable store sales were up 7%.
Department store retailer The Bon-Ton Stores Inc said its November sales "did not meet our plan," with total sales down 4.9% to $303.6m from $319.1m, and same-store sales falling 4.9%. It blamed unseasonably warm temperatures for hindering sales of cold weather merchandise - with a fall in these categories accounting for 67% of the drop in same-store sales.
Saks Incorporated, which operates the Saks Fifth Avenue and Saks Off 5th stores, reported an 8.7% rise in sales to $277.1m from $254.9m last time. Comparable store sales jumped 9.3%. The strongest categories included women's and men's contemporary apparel, handbags, fine jewellery, men's shoes, cosmetics, and fragrances.
And revenues rose 2% at Dillard's Inc to $479.19m, up from $469.26m the year before. Comparable store sales were up 3% for the four-week period. But it said sales in the juniors' and children's category were significantly below trend.
And growth continued at Macy's Inc, where total sales rose 5.3% to $2.47bn, compared with $2.34bn the year before. On a same-store basis, sales were up 4.8%. This was the first year that Macy's stores opened at 12 midnight on Black Friday, which helped attract customers "who gravitate to the fashion, newness and value in our merchandise assortments," the retailer said.
At off-price retailer The TJX Companies Inc, sales for the four weeks of November climbed to $2.04bn, a rise of 4% over last year's $1.96bn. Same-store sales were also 4% higher than last year, despite unseasonably warm weather which hampered demand for cold-weather apparel.
But department store operator Kohl's Corporation described its November sales as "disappointing", booking a drop of 4.5% to $1.93bn, down from $2.02bn a year ago. Comparable store sales were down 6.2%. But it said it saw an improved performance in both stores and e-commerce over the Thanksgiving weekend.
Total sales were also down at JC Penney Company Inc, dropping 5.9% to $1.74bn from $1.85bn, with same-store sales falling 2.0%. Women's and men's apparel and accessories were the top performing merchandise divisions, it said, but business was lost by delaying its opening until dawn on Black Friday.
Target Corporation, meanwhile, said its net retail sales rose 3.0% to $6.19bn from $6.01bn a year ago, and comparable-store sales increased 1.8%. But it said November sales were "near the low end of our expectations" as they compared against a very strong performance last year.
Specialty fashion retailer Nordstrom Inc reported an 11.6% jump in total retail sales, up to $910m from $815m last time. Same-store sales rose 5.6%.
And November same-store sales were ahead of expectations at off-price retailer Ross Stores Inc, which continues to benefit from consumers' ongoing focus on value. Total revenues increased 10% to $765m, up from $696m a year ago, and comparable store sales grew 5%. Juniors and shoes continued to be the strongest merchandise categories.
But Stein Mart Inc booked a 5.1% drop in total November sales, falling to $102.1m from $107.6m the year before. Comparable store sales were down 4.6%. Ladies' accessories and men's furnishings outperformed company trends, while ladies' dresses and career sportswear were weaker.
Companies: Wet Seal, Cato, Saks, The Buckle, Stage Stores, Macy’s, Gap Inc, TJX, Limited Brands, Victoria’s Secret, The Bon-Ton Stores, Dillard’s, Kohl’s, Nordstrom, JC Penney, Target Corporation, Ross Stores, Stein Mart
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