January Retail Sales Look to Be on the Soft Side

Retailers were announcing January U.S. same-store sales figures Thursday morning, and research firm Retail Metrics had forecast a year-over-year increase of just 0.3% for the month. For the fourth-quarter, Retail Metrics is expecting a same-store sales gain of just 0.9%.

Retail Metrics also noted the impact competition, especially from Amazon:

While Amazon’s fourth quarter earnings and sales results disappointed investors, the leading online retailer still managed to generate 22% revenue growth, a good chunk of which is coming out of mall-based and big box retailers. Fierce competition from fast fashion, off-price, discount and e-commerce is putting added pressure on revenue and earnings growth.

Here are results from the stores we track:

Buckle Inc. (NYSE: BKE) reported same-store sales for January fell 11.3% compared with the same month a year ago. The Retail Metrics estimate called for sales to drop 4.4%. Net sales for all stores fell 10.1% and totaled $53 million for the month.

Buckle’s shares were inactive in Thursday morning’s premarket, having closed at $28.96 on Wednesday, up about 1.5% for the day, in a 52-week range of $26.05 to $53.41.

Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST) reported January same-store sales, including gasoline sales and foreign exchange effects, were up 1% in the United States, down 6% in Canada and flat internationally. Globally, same-store sales were flat compared with January 2015. Excluding gasoline and currency exchange effects, U.S. sales rose 1%, Canadian sales rose 11% and international sales rose 10%. On the same basis, worldwide same-stores sales in the quarter rose 4%. Net sales for the month totaled $8.32 billion, up 2% year over year. Retail Metrics had projected a same-store sales increase of 0.7% (up 3.6% in the U.S. excluding gasoline sales).

Costco shares traded down about 17% at $144.25 in Thursday’s premarket, having closed at $146.70 on Wednesday. The stock’s 52-week range is $117.03 to $169.73.

L Brands Inc. (NYSE: LB) said same-store sales for January fell 2% compared with last year’s sales. Retail Metrics had estimated an increase of 2.5%. L Brands operates Victoria’s Secret, Pink, Bath & Body Works, La Senza and Henri Bendel stores. The largest gain came from the company’s Victoria’s Secret Direct Sales, up 21% year over year in the month. Net sales rose 4% to $811.3 million in January.

L Brands’ shares traded down about 2.3% at $93.00 in Thursday’s premarket session. Shares closed at $95.17 on Wednesday and the stock’s 52-week range is $75.11 to $101.11.

Stein Mart Inc. (NASDAQ: SMRT) will no longer report monthly same-store sales. For the month of January, total sales fell by 0.1% to $69.5 million and fourth-quarter sales rose by 1.9% to $394.2 million. Stein Mart will report fourth-quarter results before markets open on March 10.

Stein Mart’s shares were inactive in Thursday’s premarket, having closed at $7.18 on Wednesday, down about 1.2% for the day. The stock’s 52-week range is $6.07 to $16.65.

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