Self Directed Investor Inc
SDI: "Empowering investors with ideas and education"
Symbol Lookup »  
Topics:ChinaETFsEarningsEconomyEnergyForexGoldIncomeLessonsIdeasTrading

  • Other news: News from PR Newswire
| More

Holiday 2009 Retail Wrap-Up

Fri, Jan 8, 12:51 PM ET, by RetailSails.com


One year after the worst holiday shopping season on record, retailers are no doubt breathing a sigh of relief as consumers loosened their purse strings somewhat this year. Things got off to an inauspicious start, as bargain-hunting shoppers held out for the deep discounts they have become accustomed to, and untimely weather dampened prospects for “Super Saturday”, which was expected to be the biggest selling day of the season. However, a last minute surge during Christmas week and strong post-Christmas sales propelled retailers to their best month since April 2008.

As we reported yesterday, same-store sales for December increased 3.0% from a year ago, the 4th straight monthly gain after 12 consecutive monthly declines. Overall holiday (November-December) same-store sales increased 2.2% this year, after plunging 5.2% in 2008. While we are a long way from a strong recovery, results over the last few months have shown the first true signs of stabilization in the industry.

Even with a relatively strong holiday season, 2009 will still go down as the worst year on record for retail. The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) reported that fiscal year comp sales declined 2.0% in 2009, on top of a 1.1% decrease a year ago. Since the firm began tracking retail sales in 1992, the weakest year prior to this recession was 2001, when sales increased by 1.0%. However, the firm anticipates economic recovery forces will underpin a sales improvement, projecting a gain of 3-3.5% in 2010.

Many analysts worried that retailers would have to resort to deep discounting again to lure shoppers to the stores, but most companies kept tight control over their inventories and were able to sell merchandise at near full-price. This helped drive robust improvements in gross margins, leading several companies including Aeropostale, TJX, and Macy’s to raise 4th quarter earnings guidance. As a result, most retailers are much better prepared with right-sized inventories heading into the spring selling season.

Although unseasonably cold weather and snowstorms kept shoppers out of the stores for much of December, it didn’t stop people from shopping online. comScore said that total holiday season retail e-commerce sales climbed 4% from a year ago to $29.1 Billion, with especially strong growth surrounding Black Friday weekend and the week leading up to Christmas. Several retailers we cover mentioned strong e-commerce sales as a driver for growth in December, including Macy’s (+29.4%), Nordstrom (+30.1%), and the Children’s Place (+54%). Online sales were not immune to the recession, posting 3 consecutive quarters of declines beginning with the 4th quarter of 2008. However, after rebounding with a 1.8% increase in the 3rd quarter this year, it looks like e-commerce gained momentum in the last quarter of 2009.

While online sales only represent about 4% of total retail sales, the e-commerce channel has become an integral part of almost all retailers’ selling strategies. Though 2009 will likely be remembered for the awful sales performance, it will also go down as the year in which multi-channel retailing truly began to define a new paradigm for the industry. With social media, mobile commerce, and other fast-moving technologies enabling consumers ever more ways to shop and interact with each other and retailers, multi-channel integration will no doubt be at the forefront in 2010 and beyond.

With the holiday season in the rear-view mirror, consumers no longer have a “reason to shop” and retailers’ inventories are lean, so January gains will most likely be muted, with ICSC predicting a flat to 1% year-over-year same-store sales gain. While we can safely say the worst is behind us, consumers are still extremely worried about their own finances. Until the housing and employment market show marked improvement, spending will continue to be weak and competition for discretionary dollars will be fierce.

Over the next several weeks we will highlighting some of the retail winners from 2009, and what to expect from these companies in 2010. While 2009 is a year most retailers want to forget, for some of the stronger companies it presented opportunities: off-price retailers TJX and Ross Stores took market share away from specialty retailers and traditional department stores; teen mall-based retailers Aeropostale and The Buckle outclassed their rivals and grew throughout the recession; Kohl’s continues to build on its private & exclusive brands, and expanded into new markets by acquiring real estate on the cheap from bankrupt rivals. These are just a few examples of the themes we will be exploring, so stay tuned.


SDI Glossary: "price" Definition
This Article's Word Cloud:   Christmas   December   However   ICSC   While   after   channel   commerce   companies   consumers   declines   firm   from   gain   have   holiday   including   increased   inventories   last   market   most   much   over   quarter   recession   record   recovery   retail   retailers   rivals   sales   same   season   selling   several   shoppers   still   store   stores   strong   that   their   this   total   weather   will   with   worst   year

| More

Reserves Won't Save the Russian Ruble
Tue, Dec 16, 8:21 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

What I try to do in these posts is to comment on contemporary issues and ...

Currency Confusion
Fri, Dec 5, 8:11 AM ET, by Bob McTeer

Thursday's WSJ had a front page article titled "Dollar's Rise Causes Pain in Europe, Asia." ...

Productivity is Key for Good Economic Performance
Wed, Dec 3, 3:11 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

Third quarter productivity was revised to 2.3 percent growth in the third quarter, up from ...

Super Mario and the Euro
Sun, Nov 30, 1:11 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

There was a central banker named Mario Who promised to save the Euro. But he ...

No Matter Who Was in Charge, Just Blame the Fed
Fri, Nov 21, 2:41 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

When I was SVP in charge of the Richmond Fed's Baltimore branch and attended Maryland ...

Spin Alert: DOE Loans Are Losing Money, Not Making Profits
Mon, Nov 17, 11:42 AM ET, by Donald Marron

The Department of Energy snookered the media last week with a report that seems to ...

Perception versus Reality - the Median versus the Mean
Wed, Nov 5, 12:21 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

The post-election analysis on TV this morning included a brief discussion of the "disconnect" between ...

Good Bye QE
Wed, Oct 29, 3:11 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

I retired from the Fed on November 4, 2004, which will be 10 years ago ...

A "Normal" Budget Isn’t Really Normal
Mon, Oct 20, 10:22 AM ET, by Donald Marron

Treasury closed the financial books on fiscal 2014 last week. As my colleague Howard Gleckman ...

The $300 Billion Question: How Should Congress Budget for Federal Lending Programs?
Mon, Sep 29, 12:52 PM ET, by Donald Marron

Lending programs create special challenges for federal budgeting. So special, in fact, that the Congressional ...

More Investment and Exports in Second Quarter GDP - Just What We Needed
Sat, Sep 27, 11:31 AM ET, by Bob McTeer

The writer, Gore Vidal, is reported to have said that he didn't have much to ...

Four Myths about Entrepreneurship
Wed, Sep 17, 4:42 PM ET, by Donald Marron

Spoiler: 20-somethings make headlines, but founders in their 30s and 40s are more important. (Disclosure: ...

The Timing Is About Right for King Dollar
Mon, Sep 15, 5:11 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

Earlier in the recovery from the Great Recession, Larry Kudlow and most of his TV ...

"Ignore the Low Inflation and Strong Dollar. The Experiment Isn't Over Until Things Turn Bad."
Sat, Sep 13, 3:11 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

One of my favorite newspaper clippings is an op ed piece in the WSJ by ...

Does the Export-Import Bank Make or Lose Money?
Wed, Sep 10, 12:12 PM ET, by Donald Marron

Suppose your aunt decides to start a business making pizza ovens. She will design and ...

Money Hoarding
Sun, Sep 7, 3:11 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

A recent piece published by the St. Louis Fed concluded that inflation has been low ...

How Economic Insights Shaped the Web Economy
Sat, Aug 30, 8:12 AM ET, by Donald Marron

In this TEDx talk, Bob Litan shows how economic insights shaped the web economy, from ...

Why Has the Texas Economy Outperformed? A Surprising Answer From Paul Krugman
Wed, Aug 27, 4:11 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

Years ago, when I was still at the Dallas Fed and long before Governor Perry ...

Who Owns the Right to Recline? Property Rights in the Sky
Tue, Aug 26, 11:12 AM ET, by Donald Marron

“On Sunday, a United Airlines flight was forced to divert after two passengers got into ...

Todays Retail News Reel
Fri, Aug 22, 10:11 AM ET, by RetailSails.com

Here is what we are paying attention to in today's news:Time To Get Into Dollar ...

JOLTS Are Looking Good
Wed, Aug 13, 12:11 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

Jolts are not an external shock to the economy. Rather, Jolt is an an acronym ...

The Fed's Vice Chairman, Stanley Fischer, States the Obvious and Creates a Buzz
Mon, Aug 11, 9:21 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

In a speech in Sweden, apparently only the second one since becoming Vice Chairman of ...

Central Banker Heaven
Wed, Aug 6, 1:11 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

I have finally reached the point where people are quoting me from the old days, ...

Our International Trade Deficit - Down This Month, Up This Year
Wed, Aug 6, 11:51 AM ET, by Bob McTeer

A graph of the U.S. international trade deficit in goods and services over the past ...

The Employment Cost Index - Not Inflationary
Mon, Aug 4, 2:11 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

The Economic Cost Index for the second quarter got quite a bit of attention last ...

Happy Birthday Milton Friedman
Thu, Jul 31, 2:31 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

Today is the 102 anniversary of the birth of America's greatest economist, Milton Friedman. He ...

My New Paradigm Frog
Wed, Jul 30, 5:51 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

The highlight of my almost 14 year tenure as President of the Federal Reserve Bank ...

Whoopie GDP
Wed, Jul 30, 5:11 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

Well, real GDP finally hit a 4 percent growth rate in the second quarter; so, ...

The Federal Reserve is Not Ending Its Stimulus
Thu, Jul 10, 2:39 PM ET, by Donald Marron

Yesterday, the Federal Reserve confirmed that it would end new purchases of Treasury bonds and ...

The President's Minimum Wage Proposal
Thu, Jul 3, 6:28 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

This morning I heard President Obama bragging on the June jobs report. Moving on to ...

Go Economy Go!
Thu, Jul 3, 1:38 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

This morning's employment report showed an old-normal, wide-spread increase in payroll employment of 288,000, with ...

Happy Tau Day
Sat, Jun 28, 5:06 PM ET, by Donald Marron

Blogging’s been very light of late, but I couldn’t let June 28th slip by without ...

Exporting Energy
Tue, Jun 24, 12:28 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

I'm afraid the phrase "too soon old, too late smart" applies to me. To that ...

The Foreign Trade Imbalance
Mon, Jun 23, 2:33 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

People like me, who studied economics in the old days, learned that foreign trade imbalances ...

The ECB's Negative Interest Rate
Thu, Jun 5, 5:41 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

Among other easing measures, the ECB has cut the interest rate on its deposit facility ...

Monetarist vs. Keynesian: Velocity Is the Key
Mon, Jun 2, 2:51 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

One of the neat (in my opinion) things I used to do in elementary macro ...

The Ted Spread
Tue, May 20, 2:21 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

Yesterday, I attended an excellent conference on monetary policy at the Bush LibraryBush 43 that ...

The Fed Governor Shortage
Tue, May 13, 11:41 AM ET, by Bob McTeer

The New York Times has a pretty good article today about the unfilled seats on ...

Falling Dollar? It Depends on the Index
Mon, May 12, 2:11 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

When the Federal Reserve adopted a super easy monetary policy in response to the financial ...

How the Fed Fuels the Coming Inflation
Thu, May 8, 9:21 AM ET, by Bob McTeer

The title above is also the title of an opinion piece by Allan Meltzer in ...

Plunging Productivity: The Worst News of All
Wed, May 7, 1:11 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

In the glory days of the New Paradigm Economy in the late 1990's, sustained, above-average ...

Wage Inflation?
Wed, Apr 30, 4:51 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

"Economists, all or most of us consent If wage rates rise by 10 percent It ...

The FOMC's Low-Inflation Worries
Thu, Apr 10, 11:11 AM ET, by Bob McTeer

The minutes of the March FOMC meeting released yesterday, April 9, showed a heightened concern ...

Seven Tax Issues Facing Small Business
Wed, Apr 9, 3:52 PM ET, by Donald Marron

Today I had the chance to testify before the House Small Business Committee on the ...

Two Percent Inflation: A Good Thing Or A Bad Thing?
Tue, Apr 8, 5:11 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

Maybe it's just me, but it seems like every time Janet Yellen speaks publicly she ...

Lies, Damed Lies, and GDP
Sat, Apr 5, 1:21 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

Back in the day, I was being only partly facetious when I suggested that the ...

The Slow Recovery, Simplified & Rounded
Wed, Apr 2, 3:11 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

Not everybody waits like me every morning for the latest stat on how the economy ...

How Big is America’s Underground Sex Economy?
Wed, Mar 12, 1:12 PM ET, by Donald Marron

How big is the underground sex economy in the United States and how does it ...

Illusory Wealth
Sun, Mar 9, 3:11 PM ET, by Bob McTeer

The Federal Reserve recently reported that the net worth of American households grew by $9.8 ...

Today's Retail News Reel
Sun, Feb 23, 8:51 AM ET, by RetailSails.com

Here's what we're paying attention to in today's news:Walmart Pursuing Both 'Stock-Up' And 'Fill-In' Customers ...

Related videos | all videos »
  More articles:  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 next »

ABOUT US »   ADVERTISE »   CONTACT US »   TERMS OF USE & PRIVACY POLICY »

Holiday 2009 Retail Wrap-Up | Self Directed Investor | Copyright © 2008 - 2014, All Rights Reserved

Any ideas and opinions presented in Self Directed Investor content are for informational and educational purposes only, and do not reflect the opinions of BNK Invest, Inc. or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries or partners. In no way should any content contained herein be interpreted to represent trading or investment advice. None of the information contained herein constitutes a recommendation that any particular security, portfolio, transaction, or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. All site visitors agree that under no circumstances will BNK Invest, Inc,. its subsidiaries, partners, officers, employees, affiliates, or agents be held liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on information obtained. Read Full Disclaimer.

SDI is associated with: ValueForum.com -- a subscription-based online social networking forum of over 1000 individual investors. | MarketNewsVideo.com -- videos appearing on SDI are produced by Market News Video. | TickerTech.com -- stock quote content appearing on SDI is at least 20 minutes delayed and is powered by Ticker Technologies. | GoldStockStrategist.com -- Edited by Scott V. Nystrom, PhD, Gold Stock Strategist provides analysis on gold mining companies.