December retail sales rise, despite lingering hurricane effects

Most of the major retailers that are still willing to report monthly sales figures did pretty well in December, especially considering the lingering impact of Hurricane Sandy on many Northeastern markets. The last shopping week of December helped retailers tremendously.

Starting with January 2013, Target will no longer be reporting monthly sales results. Target joins a growing list of major retailers in this trend, including Walmart, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Dillard’s, JCPenney and many more.

Better Stores
Nordstrom: Same-store sales up 8.6 percent. Total sales were up 9.4 percent to $1.72 billion.

Department Stores:
Bon-Ton: Same-store sales rose 2.4 percent with total sales were up 1.5 percent to $512.9 million.

Macy’s Inc.: Same-store sales up 4.1 percent. Total sales were up 4 percent $5.1 billion. The performance was less than expected, Macy’s said, blaming Hurricane Sandy. The retailer also said it would close a Bloomingdale’s Home Store and five Macy’s doors.

Mid-Tier and Mass:
Costco: Same-store sales rose 8 percent in U.S. stores, excluding gasoline. Total sales up 12 percent to $11.21 billion.

Kohl’s: Same-store sales rose 3.4 percent. Total sales were up 4 percent to $3.37 billion. CEO Kevin Mansell commented in a statement: “December sales were lower than planned. Additionally, sales came late in the holiday shopping season and, as a result, were at deeper discounts than planned. We are taking the necessary markdowns in the fourth quarter to manage our inventory as we transition into the spring season.”

Stage Stores: Same-store sales rose 2.7 percent. Total rose 5 percent to $287 million.

Target: Same-store sales were flat against the previous December. Total sales up slightly to $10.21 billion. Critics are calling Target’s much-publicized collaboration with Neiman Marcus a failure. And Target has said it will cease reporting monthly same-store sales for 2013.

Off Price:
TJX Companies: Same-store sales were up 6 percent. Total sales were up 10 percent to $3.6 billion.

Stein Mart: Same-store sales rose 5.9 percent. Total sales increased 6.4 percent to $176.5 million.

Ross Stores: Same-store sales were up 6 percent. Total sales were up 11 percent to $1.276 billion. “We are pleased with December same store sales that were ahead of our expectations for a 2-3 percent increase,” commented CEO Michael Balmuth.

Specialty and Catalog:

Gap Inc.: Same-store sales were up 5 percent. By division, same-store sales were up 1 percent at Banana Republic, up 13 percent Old Navy and up 2 percent at Gap stores. Total sales rose 5 percent to $2.08 billion.

Teen Retailers:
The Buckle: Same-store sales were up 1 percent. Total sales up 1.8 percent to $185 million.

Zumiez: Same-store sales dropped 1 percent. Total sales up 15 percent to $120.3 million.

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