Retailers reported October same-store sales Thursday, posting a second-straight month of weak sales growth and estimate misses. Once again, retailers said warmer-than-usual weather took a toll on winter merchandise sales. Rising gasoline prices were another source of consternation, making shopping trips more expensive and eroding consumer confidence.
Approximately two-thirds of retailers missed analyst estimates, collectively falling short of forecasts by 1%. Collective same-store sales for the retailers in the chart below were down 0.2% from a year ago, while net sales gained a more respectable 4.8% over the month; in September comps were down 1.4% and net sales gained only 1.8%. Last week, a Deloitte survey said Americans plan to spend less overall during the coming holiday season, but that they still plan to increase gift purchases (full story).
Much-watched Wal-Mart posted a 0.7% same-store sales increase, missing estimates by 0.4%. The company referred to "solid" Halloween sales, but sluggishness in weather-related products. Costco reported a 9% jump, vs. estimates of 5.7%. Target's 4.1% beat estimates of 2.7%. Luxury retailer Nordstrom posted a surprising 2.4% drop; analysts were looking for a 1% gain. Saks continued to shine, with comps up 10.6% vs. estimates of 5.6%, though its shares were down 4.1% in midday trading. Shares of Christopher & Banks jumped 4% on its 22% same-store sales leap.
In the following table, arrows indicate whether a retailer beat (up), missed (down) or was in-line with analyst expectations. Analyst estimates, where available, are based on Reuters and Thomson surveys.
Sources: Reuters, Dow Jones, MarketWatch, Press releases
Commentary: September Same-Store Sales: Comprehensive Roundup, August Same-Store Sales Roundup • July Same-Store Sales Roundup
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