Thursday, November 5, 2009

October Same-Store Sales Roundup

U.S. retailers posted October same-store sales that offered a mixed bag of results, indicating that retail is in for a disappointing holiday season.

Despite total U.S. comp. sales rising 2.1% in October, the largest increase since July 2008 according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), 52% of retailers reported October sales that came in below Wall Street estimates, according to Reuters. 
"October results are not going to give investors the overall warm and fuzzy that we're on track for a strong Christmas," said Brean Murray, Carret & Co analyst Eric Beder, "It looks like we're on track for kind of a mediocre season right now based upon October." (SOURCE:
However, some industry analysts are optimistic. ICSC projects Nov. same-store sales to rise 5-8%, and holiday same-store sales to rise 1%.

The teen retail sector delivered an October surprise to analysts, claiming the "worst performer" title for the month. Aeropostale Inc. underperformed, posting same-store sales gains of 3% vs. the 14% rise analysts' estimated. Comps at American Eagle Outfitters Inc. sunk 5%, missing the 2% gain analysts projected for the company. As a result, shares in both companies dropped 13.6% and 12%, respectively, with Aeropostale experiencing its biggest one-day decline since Dec. 2008.

High end appears to be on the rise with a 1.8% increase in comp. sales in Oct. for the luxury sector, according to ICSC.
“The improvement in the stock market has had a significant impact on the affluent shopper’s willingness to spend as the luxury market has shown its first positive reading since May 2008,” said Michael Niemira, chief economist and director of research for the International Council of Shopping Centers.  (SOURCE:
Saks Inc. reported a comp. sales gain of 0.7% for the month, beating analysts expectations. The luxury chain reported "experienced continued weakness" in their Saks Fifth Avenue stores, however OFF 5TH and Saks Direct flourished. Management projects mid to high single digit declines in comps. for the second half of 2009.

Nordstrom, Inc. delivered a 6.5% increase in same-stores sales for the month, which topped estimates.

October comp. sales for Neiman Marcus slid 6.0%. Same-store sales in their Specialty Retail Stores segment, which includes Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman stores, fell 6.2%. Neiman Marcus Direct, which includes their online and catalog operations for Neiman, Bergdorf and Horchow, decreased 4.8%.

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. continues to struggle, posting a loss of 15% for the month, slightly worse than estimates.

Macy's Inc. reported a 0.8% dip in same-store sales, slightly higher than the 0.1% decline analysts predicted according to Thomson Reuters. Online sales ( and, which were up 34.6% for the month, helped the company's comp. sales by 0.6 percentage points.

Limited Brands, Inc. posted a 4% decrease in comp. sales for October, falling short of analysts' estimates of a 3.1% decline. Same-store sales losses in Victoria's Secret Stores and La Senza, 6% and 7% respectively, helped drive down Limited's comps.

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