Same-store sales for January are scheduled to be released this Thursday, and the consensus projection from research firm Retail Metrics calls for an increase of 2.8% compared with January of 2012. Excluding drug stores, the projection sees growth of 3.3%, down 10 basis points from an earlier projection.
Same-store sales at specialty retailers like Gap Stores Inc. (NYSE: GPS), Ross Stores Inc. (NASDAQ: ROST) and The TJX Companies Inc. (NYSE: TJX) are expected to rise 3.1%, compared with a same-store sales rise of 4.1% in January 2011. Kohl’s Corp. (NYSE: KSS) is expected to post a gain of 3.0%.
Big-box retailers Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST) and Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) have experienced a drop of 10 and 30 basis points, respectively, in expectations. The projection for the entire discount group is now 2.9%.
Teen retailers, as a group, are expected to post a decline of 1.6% in same-store sales, while department stores are set to post the largest gain, 4.4%. Among the teen retailers, the largest decline is forecast for Aeropostale Inc. (NYSE: ARO), down 8%, followed by Wet Seal Inc. (NASDAQ: WTSLA), down 6%, and Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE: ANF), down 2.4%. American Eagle Outfitters Inc. (NYSE: AEO) is projected to post a gain of 4.9%.
Among the department stores, J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (NYSE: JCP) is expected to see a decline of 26.2%, while Macy’s Inc. (NYSE: M) is projected to post a gain of 4.8% and Nordstrom Inc. (NYSE: JWN) should see a gain of 5.7%.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT), though it does not report monthly sales, is expected to post a gain of 1.9%, while PriceMart Inc. (NASDAQ: PSMT) is touted for a 9.5% gain. Family Dollar Stores Inc. (NYSE: FDO) is expected to see an increase of 4.7% in same-store sales and Stein Mart Inc. (NASDAQ: SMRT) is expected to gain 5%.
The agreement in Washington that dodged the fiscal cliff has helped sales, as has some cooler weather. But low levels of consumer confidence and the rise in payroll taxes are weighing down expectations for a big jump in January sales.