September CE Sales Diverge For Discounters; NRF Projects Modest Holiday
By Alan Wolf On Oct 17 2011 - 4:01am
NEW YORK — September CE sales were a tale
of two cities for Target and Costco, although both
discounters, as well as Walmart, reported positive
same-store sales growth for the month.
Separately, the National Retail Foundation (NRF)
projected a slim 2.8 percent increase in holiday
sales, but said retailers will make the most of it
through steep promotions and lean inventory.
Target said net retail sales rose 6.5 percent to
$5.9 billion for the five weeks, ended Oct. 1. Compstore
sales increased 5.3 percent despite declines
in CE, which dragged the hardlines segment down
by the low single digits, the chain reported.
said net sales for the five weeks, ended
Oct. 2, increased 15 percent to $8.6 billion, while
U.S. same-store sales rose 7 percent excluding the
positive impact of higher gasoline prices. Chief financial
officer Richard Galanti said CE comps rose by
the mid-single digits on unit and dollar volume gains
in TV, reversing last quarter’s mid-single digit decline.
BJ’s Wholesale Club
, which traditionally reported
its monthly sales results, was taken private by an
equity investment group on Sept. 30, and its stock
was de-listed from the New York Stock Exchange
earlier this month.
, which no longer reports monthly sales
results, told analysts at a meeting near its corporate
headquarters last week that U.S. comps had risen
for three consecutive months since July, marking the
first quarterly increase in more than a year.
The retailer also said it will continue to reduce
operating expenses and lower prices, will open between
80 and 100 medium- to small-format stores
next year, and will add six more mini Express stores
this fiscal year, for a total of 11.
Walmart has also doubled its holiday advertising
budget and will seek to boost online traffic this season
by providing free shipping for apparel and consumables
purchases over $45.
Elsewhere, the NRF projected a 2.8 percent increase
in total 2011 holiday retail sales, to $465.6
billion. The increase is far lower than the 5.2 percent
gain retailers enjoyed last year, but is slightly higher
than the 10-year average holiday sales increase of
2.6 percent, the trade group said.
“While businesses remain concerned over the viability
of the economic recovery, there is no doubt
that the retail industry is in a better position this year
to handle consumer uncertainty than it was in 2008
and 2009,” said NRF president/CEO Matthew Shay.
“Retailers are optimistic that a combination of strong
promotions and lean inventory levels will help them
address consumer caution this holiday season.”