According to a client note by Goldman Sachs Group analyst Irma Sgarz, early feedback from retailers and trade associations suggests that this year's year-end holiday sales "came broadly in line with the already upwardly-revised expectations, with average sales growth of around 5 percent in real terms." Yet, while sluggish traffic in the first two weeks of December seemed to suggest consumers were putting off Christmas purchases until after being paid the second installment of their year-end bonuses on Dec. 20, "the big push in the final days did not materialize," she said on Friday.
According to Sgarz, apparel retailers including Marisa Lojas SA and Lojas Renner SA led gains in sales, pointing to double-digit sales growth at stores open for more than 12 months. In the case of Grupo Pão de Açúcar SA , Brazil's largest retailer, management at the company "expressed a certain disappointment with traffic in its durables stores, where same-store sales (growth) momentum remained below the year-to-date trend of 8 percent, which may reflect the unrelenting online migration in the space," the analyst noted. E-commerce remains aggressive, with strong momentum for B2W Cia Global de Varejo SA, the note said.