Well, the three big mega retailers reported sales and profits in the last 24 hours for their second quarters. The headlines blare good news. Let’s see. I worked in retail for 14 years. The only thing that matters over the long run are SAME STORE SALES. Here are what these behemoths reported:
Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT): U.S. 1.8% comparable store sales Decline
Home Depot (NYSE:HD): U.S. 1.0% comparable store sales growth
Lowes (NYSE:LOW): U.S. 1.6% comparable store sales growth
Now for a little perspective. Wal-Mart’s same store sales last year for the same quarter were -1.2%. Home Depot’s same store sales last year for the same quarter were -6.9%. Lowe’s same store sales last year for the same quarter were -9.5%.
Now for even more perspective. The comp US store sales for these three retailers in 2008 were:
Wal- Mart: +4.5%
Home Depot: -7.9%
Here is the true picture of our best retailers since 2007:
|2007||2008||% Change||2009||% Change||2010||% Change||from 2007|
Sales at two of these mega-retailers are still down double digits from levels of three years ago. Wal-Mart is essentially flat. Over this same time inflation is up 4.8%, so on a an inflation adjusted basis all of these retailers are way down over 2007.
Don’t believe the improvement hype being spewed forth by the Wall Street shills.
Disclosure: No positions