The pattern so far this year has consistently been that
if retailers had a decent month last year, the same month
would be so-so this year. But in September, sales were
fairly good on top of a September 2011 that was pretty
robust. Some chains were down from last year, but most
were positive, even if they did not beat expectations.
For instance, Macy’s reported a 2.5% increase in same
store sales in September, off the 3.3% expected growth.
Last September, the chain was up 4.9% in the same month.
And Macy’s is looking at the August/
September period as back to school, during
which same store revenues were up 3.6%..
Many chains did better than what
analysts had projected. TJX Cos., parent
of Marshalls, TJ Maxx and Home Goods
said its September comps climbed 6%; expectations had
been for a 4.4% gain. Ross Stores was up 5%, beating
analysts’ estimate of a 4.3% growth. The company is
sticking with its cautious prediction of a 3% to 4% gain in
October. Target was up 2.1%, just slightly over the expected
2.0% rise in same store sales. Comps were up 5.3% last
September. The company announced that September was
the last month it would release monthly sales figures,
preferring to focus on the longer-term. Costco beat
expectations with its 6% growth in same store sales, but a
bit of the jump was due to fuel price increases. Without
fuel, comps still rose 5%, on top of last September’s 12%.
Some recent losers had a good month.
Expectations are still cautiously optimistic for holiday shopping