Posts filed under “Consumer Spending”

Blaming Soft Retail on all the Wrong Things

The latest retail sales data is out, and its rather mixed:

-Gap fell 2 percent. They expect pressure on profit margins to continue into December.

-Abercrombie & Fitch sales fell 3 percent in the month;

-American Eagle Outfitters (Charts) posted good numbers — plus 14% — but was below expectations for a 14.8% gains;

Pier 1 Imports saw sales tumble 15.3%, despite aggressive discounting / advertising;

Ann Taylor blamed warm weather for sales falling 4.3%, especially "sweaters, outerwear and cold weather accessories."

Wal-Mart, JC Penney and Costco Wholesale all missed estimates. Those stocks are down 1.1%, 2.9%, and 1.9%, respectively. Bebe Stores was even worse, falling 9% after it fell short of estimates.

- Sources: Warm weather chills holiday sales,
Shoppers Await Better Bargains

Meanwhile, all manner of silly blame casting is going on as to who or what is responsible for the problematic retail sales. With over half of the reporting companies missing expectations, it is rather silly to blame all of this on Wal-Mart.

In most years, Retailers blame Snow in the Winter in the Northern climes; this year, they are blaming the weak sales on warm weather. Apparently, it is never managements fault, nor does anyone blame the tiring consumer or a weakening housing / Mortgage App slow down, it is the weather – REGARDLESS OF WHAT THE WEATHER IS.

Considering what the most recent retail sales data looks like, it is no surprise that the sector is flailing about looking for something — or someone — to blame:


If you want a clue as to what is really going on, try this compare and contrast:

Wal-Mart Trips as It Changes a Bit Too Fast

Tiffany Profit Increases 23%

There’s your answer . . .


One more thing: The WSJ has a good interactive chart that allows you to track the performers of a dozen top retailers:


Its a public URL, No subscription required.

Weak November Start Hurts Retailers
As Wal-Mart Presents Grim Forecast

WSJ, November 30, 2006 9:18 a.m.

Build Your Own Chart: A dozen major retailers
WSJ, November 30, 2006

Warm weather chills holiday sales
Parija B. Kavilanz, November 30 2006: 9:41 AM EST

Category: Consumer Spending, Data Analysis, Earnings, Retail

More Bad Data from the NRF?

I’m kinda dumfounded to see this issue come up time and again, but — there they go again: The National Retail Federation is once again putting out data which has gotten misinterpreted by most of the MSM: “Retailers kicked off the holiday selling season in style as shoppers across the country set their alarms for…Read More

Category: Consumer Spending, Data Analysis, Financial Press, Retail

Massive Retail Roundup

Category: Consumer Spending, Economy, Financial Press, Retail

Retail Sector Market Performance

Category: Consumer Spending, Markets, Retail

Buy Versus Rent Spreadsheet

Category: Consumer Spending, Data Analysis, Real Estate, Web/Tech

Real Estate Sales Slump Generating Ugly Press

Category: Consumer Spending, Data Analysis, Economy, Real Estate, Retail

What Does Wal-Mart’s Prescription Drug Plan Mean?

Category: Consumer Spending, Corporate Management, Economy, Politics, Psychology

Why I think Cramer is Wrong on the Consumer

Category: Consumer Spending, Economy, Fixed Income/Interest Rates, Psychology

Back-to-School Sales

Category: Consumer Spending, Economy, Retail

Is a Housing Crisis Approaching?

Category: Consumer Spending, Economy, Federal Reserve, Real Estate