Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Holiday 2013 Sales Rough on Many Retailers

Year-end reports from retailers paint a disappointing picture. Lucas Jackson/Reuters
Well, at least Macy's did well... With the success of online holiday shopping and the bottom-line mentality of shoppers that forced brick and mortar retailers to discount their holiday offerings earlier and deeper than they would like, it was not such a happy holiday for most of the US' big retailers.  Among the worst-off was Sears' Holdings, owner of Sears and K-Mart. Shortly after it announced that sales for the holiday period had dropped a shocking 9.2 percent from 2012, its stock price tumbled by 13 percent.

Hunter Communications Original News Source:
The New York Times

Link to article:

Excerpt: "Sears Holdings released bleak holiday sales figures on Thursday, as year-end reports and company data from other retailers painted a disappointing picture of the overall season, with little growth over the year before.

Sears stock plummeted more than 13 percent in after-hours trading, after an announcement disclosed that sales at its Sears stores in the United States dropped 9.2 percent during the nine-week period that ended Jan. 4. Sales at Kmart stores that have been open at least a year fell 5.7 percent during the same period.

'The results that we posted are not nearly what we want them to be,' Edward S. Lampert, chief executive of Sears, said in a company blog. 'They also overshadow all of the work that’s being done by our associates, our vendors and the other businesses we work with, along with everyone who is developing better ways for us to serve our members.'

The company has been struggling to retain its core customer base, and had announced that it would spin off its auto centers and its in-store Lands’ End sections.

For retailers more broadly, little hard data had been released before this week that gave an overall picture of the 2013 holiday season. Now it appears the season was lackluster for many retailers, occasionally even grim.

Analysts warned that even where the sales numbers were decent, this season’s extraordinarily aggressive discounting had most likely taken a bite out of stores’ profit margins.

'I would categorize it as a season most retailers would prefer to forget about,” said Ken Perkins, founder of Retail Metrics. In contrast to improving employment, a rising stock market and increasing home values, he said, “it was a tough holiday season.'

The research firm ShopperTrak found that brick-and-mortar store sales in November and December were up 2.7 percent over the same period last year, while foot traffic fell 14.6 percent as more customers researched their purchases ahead of time online.

Thomson Reuters said on Thursday that December sales for nine major retailers, largely in apparel, that reported results this week, grew 2.4 percent over the previous year. That was better than the 1.9 percent analysts expected, according to Reuters, but not much to celebrate. The two teenage apparel stores in that sample, The Buckle and Zumiez, did especially poorly.

'The landscape overall wasn’t great, but teens took it on the chin the most, if you had to pick a sector,' said John D. Morris, an analyst at BMO Capital Markets."

No comments:

Post a Comment