Blog: Leonie BarrieMonthly sales reports lose further weight

Leonie Barrie | 5 October 2012

When we launched just-style's 'Retail Roundup' column a decade ago, 22 US apparel and footwear retailers reported their monthly same-store sales results. As of next year, that number will drop to just 14, after discount giant Target Corp said it will no longer file monthly numbers.

The company's rationale is that the move is consistent with the vast majority of its retail peers - most notably Wal-Mart, which ended the monthly reporting routine in 2009.

"We believe aligning our sales guidance and reporting with disclosure of our quarterly financial results will create a longer-term focus and provide greater understanding of our sales results in the context of our overall financial performance," John Mulligan, Target's executive vice president and chief financial officer, said yesterday.

There's no doubt that a monthly overview of a retailer's performance only paints part of the whole picture, can be misleading and is a big contributor to the short-term outlook of many analysts and industry-watchers. But there are also those who fear an end to the practice also goes hand-in-hand with a lack of transparency, especially in a tough economic environment where information is power.


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