Through The Fly's Eyes: Holiday Sales Season
from Eric Buscemi of Theflyonthewall.com
The Data Arrives
Earlier in the week we blogged about Wal-Mart's (WMT) Same-Store Sales miss, saying this was not enough information to signal the awful holiday shopping season the market predicted from the indicator. With more information now available, we thought we would review:
* Wal-Mart confirmed its preliminary SSS estimate of -0.1%, which at least did not drop further. Competitors Target (TGT) and Costco (COST) also announced their SSS numbers, with Target outperforming slightly [+5.9% vs. +5.7%] and Costco underperforming slightly [+5% vs. +5.7%]
* High-end retail looked good, with both Federated (FD) [+8.4% vs. +4.8%] and Saks (SKS) [+7.2% vs. +6.8%] outperforming
* Clothing retailers were mixed, with Guess (GES) [+12.1% vs. +5.6%], Pacific Sunwear (PSUN) [-3.8% vs. -4.6%] and Hot Topic (HOTT) [-4.3% vs. -6.8%] beating consensus estimates, while Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) [-3% vs. +3%], Bebe (BEBE) [+5.8% vs. +7.9%] and perennial underperformer Gap (GPS) [-8% vs. -5.4%] fell short of their estimates
* Speaking of perennial underperformers, Pier 1 (PIR) [-15.3% vs. -13.6%] and Sharper Image (SHRP) [-27% vs. -18%] continued embarrassing their investors.
This adds up to a mixed bag for retailers, with the sector as a whole seeing a good deal of weakness today. This Fly maintains that it is still too early to predict doom and gloom for the whole season, however. The true telling sign for the holiday shopping season will be in consumer electronics, as CIBC World Markets channel checks predict that consumer electronics "won the day" on Black Friday.