Retail Winners and Losers This Holiday Season

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Includes: AEO, BBY, BGPIQ, BIG, BKS, BLKIA, CCTYQ, COST, CVS, DDS, GPS, HD, JCP, KSS, LOW, M, SHLD, TGT, TSA, WBA, WMT
by: Marketing Charts

Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) is the only real retail winner during the 2008 holiday shopping season, which is presaging more retail bankruptcies in the year ahead, according to C. Britt Beemer, CEO of America’s Research Group [ARG], who issued his 2008 “Winners and Losers” list of retailers (via Retailer Daily).

The “Winners and Losers” (complete list below) are determined by how well they did in retaining Christmas customers from last year.

Several well-known retailers are at the bottom of the list. “Star Performers from last year, Costco (NASDAQ:COST), JC Penney (NYSE:JCP) and Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS), fell short,” Beemer said.

He added:

[A] number of major names, such as Macy’s (NYSE:M), are in trouble over the long run, and we will undoubtedly see more retail bankruptcies in the New Year.

In all, the weekend before Christmas was lackluster, with only 38.7% of shoppers out just before Christmas, according to the sixth and final America’s Research Group/UBS Christmas 2008 Survey this weekend.

That’s the lowest number in the six years since the question has been asked in ARG Christmas surveys.

Over the weekend, Wal-Mart led in stores shopped, attracting over two-thirds of consumers:

  • Wal-Mart: 69.0% (33.0% in 2007)
  • Target (NYSE:TGT): 21.0% (16.8% in 2007)
  • Sears (NASDAQ:SHLD): 17.1% (20.4% in 2007)
  • JCPenney: 15.1% (20.7% in 2007)
  • Best Buy (NYSE:BBY): 14.2% (12.9% in 2007)
  • Toys R Us: 13.4% (12.6% in 2007)

A large majority (68.5%) of shoppers said they are 90% or more done with shopping this year, the highest level since 2002. A greater number of parents are finished with children’s gifts (74.8%), the highest level since 2003.

Gift cards as a category are down to 51.5%, the lowest level since 2005. Only 11.8% of parents, compared with 26.3% in 2007, said that they bought gift cards for their children this Christmas as there was no “must have” gift.

The top gifts this Christmas:

  • Toys: 34.7% (36.1% in 2007)
  • Electronics: 26.8% (23.9% in 2007)
  • Children’s clothes: 26.7% (15.9% in 2007)
  • Video games: 18.1% (15.3% in 2007)
  • Gift cards: 12.0% (23.8% in 2007)

The top gifts at Wal-Mart this year:

  • Toys: 44.3% (45.8% in 2007)
  • Children’s clothes: 26.5% (14.2% in 2007)
  • Video games: 22.5% (16.2% in 2007)
  • Electronics: 19.5% (18.0% in 2007)
  • DVDs: 15.8% (15.9% in 2007)

ARG/UBS Winners and Losers 2008

Star Performers: keeping 90% or more of their Christmas shoppers coming back this season

Wal-Mart: 91.2%

Strong Performance: keeping 80% to 89% of their Christmas shoppers

Books A Million: 80.0%

Above Average to Good: keeping 70% to 79% of their Christmas shoppers

  • Target: 79.1%
  • JCPenney: 79.0%
  • Old Navy: 78.9%
  • Best Buy: 78.3%
  • Big Lots (NYSE:BIG): 78.0%
  • The Gap (NYSE:GPS): 75.4%
  • TJ Maxx: 74.8%
  • Home Depot (NYSE:HD): 74.6%
  • Kmart: 73.2%
  • Borders (BGP): 73.0%
  • Kohl’s (NYSE:KSS): 72.2%
  • Sears: 71.0%
  • Toys R Us: 70.8%
  • Barnes & Noble: 70.8%
  • Circuit City (OTC:CCTYQ): 70.7%

Retailers in Trouble: keeping 69% and below of their Christmas shoppers

  • CVS: 69.8%
  • Costco: 68.1%
  • American Eagle (NYSE:AEO): 67.3%
  • Lowe’s (NYSE:LOW): 66.7%
  • Macy’s: 65.4%
  • Sam’s Club: 65.1%
  • Belk (OTCPK:BLKIA): 64.2%
  • Walgreens (WAG): 61.0%
  • Dillard's (NYSE:DDS): 55.4%
  • Sports Authority (TSA): 51.8%

About the data: The America’s Research Group/UBS 2008 Christmas Survey consisted of 1,000 telephone interviews conducted Saturday and Sunday, December 20 and 21, 2008 at ARG headquarters in Charleston, SC. UBS has teamed with ARG for six surveys this Christmas season.