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Fundranker Blog—Retail Sales

Retail Sales

The Christmas shopping season is not looking so good this year, or is it? On one hand, retailers cut prices enough to get lots of shoppers out the day after Thanksgiving, nicknamed Black Friday because it traditionally is when large retailers finally have enough sales to go from operating in the red to operating in the black for the year. But the deep discounts needed to get shoppers out combined with Thanksgiving falling late in November have really cut into profits this year. For example, Abercrombie & Fitch’s November same store sales were down 28%, Kohl’s were down 17%, Target’s were down 10.4%, and Costco’s were down 5%. Wal-Mart stood out with November same store sales that increased 3.4%. Same store sales declined an average of 2.5% for 40 retailers that reported on Thursday, according to TNS Retail Forward, a market research and consulting firm. A year ago, the same retailers reported same store sales had increased an average 4.3% from 2006.

But take a look at how Select Retailing has performed in December, gaining 6.45% in the first five trading days this month, more than any other Select fund. The stock market is usually an advance indicator for the economy. Is Select Retailing’s gain just an anomaly, or is the market trying to tell us something about retail sales?

Posted 12/5/08 9:35pm ET in Economy