Consumer Products

Same-Store Sales Brighten Holiday Outlook (BJ, TGT, COST, ANF, ARO, AEO, WTSLA, GPS, LTD, JWN, M, SKS)

Retailers are posting their November sales figures this morning, and the overall picture is looking bright. Shoppers are headed back to stores of every kind.  Big-box retailer BJ’s Wholesale Club Inc. (NYSE: BJ) posted a same-store sales increase of 5%, beating estimates by more than 1%. November revenue rose 8%, to $900 million. Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) reported that November sales rose 5.5%, much better than expectations of 3.7%. Total sales rose 5.7% to $6 billion. Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST) said sales rose 9% in November and revenue increased by 12%, including its joint venture in Mexico, and 9% excluding the Mexican stores.

Teen specialty retailers also saw some handsome sales boosts. Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE: ANF) reported that November same-store sales rose 22%, blasting through analysts’ expectations of a 6.8% rise. Net sales rose 32%, to $319 million for the month. Aeropostale Inc. (NYSE: ARO) posted a net sales jump of 7% in November, but a drop of -1% in same-store sales. Aeropostale’s Black Friday sales rose in the mid-single digits, but sales for the rest of the holiday weekend “decelerated significantly.” American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. (NYSE: AEO) posted flat same-store sales figures in November and total sales up just 2%. The Wet Seal, Inc. (NASDAQ: WTSLA) reported same-store sales up 8.3%, and net sales up 16.7% compared with a November 2009. Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) posted a same-store sales gain of 4%, well above analysts’ expectations of 2.6%. Net sales rose 6% to $1.51 billion. Limited Brands Inc. (NYSE: LTD) reported a jump of 10% in same-store sales, much better than expectations of a 4% gain. Net sales rose 14%, to $893 million at Limited stores.

Department stores and fashion specialty stores also posted nice gains in November. Nordstrom Inc. (NYSE: JWN) posted a same-store sales boost of 5.1%, compared with expectations of a 3.8% gain. Total sales rose 8.8%, to $815 million for the month. Macy’s Inc. (NYSE: M) reported sales growth of 6.1%, compared with expectations of a 5% gain. Net sales for November totaled $2.34 billion, a rise of 7.8%. Saks Inc. (NYSE: SKS) reported a same-store sales gain of 5.3%, well below analysts’ estimates of a 9.5% gain. Revenue for the month totaled $255 million, up 4% from November 2009.

Before the market opened this morning, Aeropostale shares were off about -9% on the negative growth, while Abercrombie and Fitch shares had posted a gain of nearly 8%.

Paul Ausick

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