Parks Associates Blog

Friday, February 06, 2009

Good news/bad news on retail sales

I'm still trying to make sense of the January retail reports and what is the good news/bad news. At breakfast, The Dallas Morning News had some pretty brutal January retail news. Overall retail sales were down 1.8%. North Texas-based J.C. Penney experienced a 16% decline in same-store sales, and that was pretty good compared to some other results. The Gap was down 23%, and - as you can imagine - other higher-end retailers like Abercrombie, Saks, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and others were hit awfully hard. At the same time, Wal-Mart beat analyst expectations and was up 1.5%. Target was down 3.3%. Costco was down 2%.

Then, I get to the office this morning, and two e-mail alerts from TWICE are reporting good numbers from Conn's, hhgregg, and others. Citing strong TV sales (Costco says sales were up 80%, but revenues up only 18% because of steep discounts), many retailers reported strong electronics sales even as overall sales were down.

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