January 6, 2011 / 5:52 PM / 9 years ago

Factbox: Big hits and misses from December retail sales

(Reuters) - Many top U.S. retailers missed Wall Street’s expectations for December sales. Some bucked the trend, but others suffered from a blizzard that exacerbated shoppers’ post-Christmas tendency to shove wallets back in pockets.

— Discounter Target Corp’s same-store sales rose a disappointing 0.9 percent, when analysts were expecting a 4 percent increase. Its results were hit hard by relatively soft demand for electronics such as televisions with Internet and 3-D features, which did not pique buyer interest as much as expected.

— Gap Inc posted a 3 percent drop in same-store sales in December, disappointing analyst estimates of a 2.6 percent increase. Its traffic was down 9 percent at the Gap chain and 8 percent at Old Navy.

— Analysts had expected BJ’s Wholesale Club Inc to report a 4.4 percent increase in comparable sales but they rose only 3.8 percent as the company, which is on the auction block, suffered from shoppers’ decisions to focus on essentials instead of buying a mix of necessary and higher-priced discretionary items.

— Macy’s Inc Chief Executive Officer Terry Lundgren blamed the snowstorm for the company’s results, which rose 3.9 percent but missed analyst estimates of 4.5 percent. “We did a lot better before the snow hit, no question about it,” Lundgren told CNBC.

— JC Penney Co Inc beat expectations with a 3.7 percent same-store sales increase compared with an analyst forecast of a 3.3 percent rise. Fashion watches, sterling silver jewelry and cold weather merchandise were its strongest-selling items, driving up traffic in the key shopping periods after Thanksgiving and before Christmas.

— Nordstrom Inc said same-store sales rose 8.4 percent, topping analysts’ expectations of a 3.4 percent rise. Dresses, jewelry and women’s shoes were a standout, with business strongest in the first half of the month.

— Same-store sales at the TJX Cos Inc rose 2 percent, surprising analysts who had predicted they would fall 2.5 percent. The number of customer transactions rose, driving growth in comparable sales, Chief Executive Officer Carol Meyrowitz said in a statement.

Reporting by Helen Chernikoff; editing by Matthew Lewis

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