Worst Holiday Performance since 1970

by Deepak Sharma on Thursday, January 01, 2009

In what turns out to be worst holiday performance since 1970, International Council of Shopping Centers, says that based on its estimate sales in the week ended Saturday fell 1.8% below year-earlier levels, it now expects same-store sales in December to decline by at least 1%.

Discounts Fail to Save Retailers' Holiday - WSJ.com (registration reqd)

The outlook for many retailers, however, is even worse. Excluding the results of discount giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which has been outperforming its rivals, sales at stores open at least a year -- a key barometer of retail performance -- could fall as much as 8% below year-earlier levels, according to Michael P. Niemira, chief economist at the shopping-center group.

The ICSC expects December same-store sales to decline by 11%, 10% and 8% at J.C. Penney Co., Kohl's Corp. and Target Corp. respectively, compared with an increase of 3% at Wal-Mart.

The industry's poor performance in December follows an even more dismal November, when same-store sales at retailers tracked by the ICSC fell 2.7%, the biggest monthly drop since the group began recording year-to-year changes in sales in 1970.

The only silver lining, Wal-Mart outperforming other Retailers.