It was TOO cold for consumers to shop in March. It will be TOO hot for consumers to shop in April. People were TOO depressed by the Newtown shooting to shop at Christmas. The devastation from Hurricane Sandy was TOO overwhelming for consumers to shop in November.
Do you sense a pattern? There is a continuous stream of excuses for terrible sales by even the best retailers. Costco is the best run retailer in America and they aren’t meeting expectations. Most retailers aren’t covering their cost inflation with their comp store sales gains. Real inflation is running above 5%, but the majority of retailers are barely ecking out 2% sales increases.
Bed Bath & Beyond reported their earnings last night. If you adjust their results for the extra week in this year’s number, their earnings declined. Their comp store sales increases are below 2.5%. These fools spent $600 million buying Cost Plus and used another $350 million buying back their stock.
The idiot MSM parrots ridiculous notions that the housing recovery will spur retail sales. These faux journalists actually think that Blackstone and the rest of the Wall Street shysters buying up foreclosed homes to rent out is going to spur retail sales? It’s beyond laughable.
The excuses will continue. The average American family continues to see their real wages decline. Without income, consumers can’t buy shit from retailers. It really is that simple, but those in power don’t want to accept the truth. A storyline about weather or Easter will do for now.
Retailers deliver chilly same-store sales
By Karen Talley
Retailers are posting tepid sales for a second month in a row, with March blasted by cold weather and a still-uncertain consumer, much like February.
Spring and summer merchandise remained on racks during a month that traditionally marks the beginning of warm-weather buying.
“The mass public is still not feeling good about discretionary spending,” said Nancy Liu, retail strategist at consulting firm Kurt Salmon. “Gas prices are still high, the job market is still slow to recover, so there is a lack of confidence.”
Because of sluggish buying, “on the retailers’ side, there could be pressure on inventories that could lead to heavier-than-usual discounting” in late spring and early summer, Ms. Liu said.
Among retailers bucking the trend, Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ:COST) posted a 6% rise in U.S. same-store sales minus gas, when 5.9% was expected.
L Brands Inc., the former Limited Brands, saw same-store sales grow 3%, when flat results were expected. The operator of Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works said the Easter shift into March this year from April last year hurt sales by 1% to 2%. The company expects April same-store sales to rise by a low-single-digit percentage rate. At L Brands, “New and updated product continues to drive the business and this is a trend we believe will continue,” said RBC Capital Markets analyst Howard Tubin.
The 11 retailers tracked by Thomson Reuters are expected to post 2.2% growth in same-store sales, or sales at stores open more than a year. This is the lowest growth since September 2009, when 1.9% was recorded as the economy suffered the lingering effects of the recession. The March figure compares with 7.1% a year ago when much of the country was enjoying unseasonably warm weather that spurred demand and consumers to pay full price for merchandise. In February, retailers posted 3.9% growth in same-store sales, compared with a 7.4% rise for 11 companies a year earlier.
Even Easter falling in March this year didn’t help, as traditional spring buying around the holiday was hurt by cold weather in many parts of the country. Last month was the coldest March in the U.S. in 17 years, with the most snowfall in 20 years, according to Weather Trends International, a weather-tracking service.
Also, many retailers were closed on Easter.
TJX Cos. (NYSE:TJX) posted a 2% drop in same-store sales when a 1% decline was expected. “Due to the year-over-year timing of Easter, we had not planned March to be a strong month against last year’s high increase,” said Carol Meyrowitz, chief executive of the operator of T.J. Maxx and Marshalls.
Zumiez Inc.’s (NASDAQ:ZUMZ) March same-store sales rose 2.1%, topping expectations for a decrease of 7.5%. Shares are up 9.4% to $27.25 premarket.
Fellow teen retailer Buckle Inc. (NYSE:BKE) posted flat comparable-store sales when a 0.3% decline was expected.
Fred’s Inc. (NASDAQ:FRED) posted a 3% drop in same-store sales when a 1.7% decline was expected. The discount retailer “expected that March general merchandising sales would be adversely affected by unseasonably cool weather and the timing of the Easter holiday,” with seasonal and lawn and garden departments especially hard hit, said Chief Executive Bruce Efird.
Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS) , which reports after the closing bell, is expected to post a 2.1% decline, its first drop in same-store sales in just about a year.