January Sales Better Than Expected

The same-store sales numbers for January are coming out today and they seem to be pretty good.

Thomson Reuters estimates that same-store sales rose 4.2 percent for the month, much higher than expected, according to The Wall Street Journal. Target, Kohl's and Saks Fifth Avenue surprised analysts with strong results, while specialty retailers including the Gap and Wet Seals reported sales declines.

Thomson Reuters surveyed a total of 20 chain.

According to ICSC, same-store sales rose 4.8 percent in January, driven primarily by wholesale clubs, luxury stores and discounters. Costco, for example, reported growth of 8 percent, Saks of 10.5 percent and TJX of 7 percent.

Kantar Retail, a Columbus, Ohio-based retail consulting firm, estimates growth of 4.9 percent, based on results from 21 retailers. Particularly heartening is the fact that the gain occured in spite of unseasonably warm weather and tough year-over-year comparisons, according to Kantar's researchers.

“Whether January's growth can be sustained may depend on whether shoppers' spending intentions show more signs of stalling out in the months ahead. That underlying trend appears to be overwhelmed at the moment by the mixed retail and economic reports,” said Frank Badillo, Senior Economist.
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