Retail

Holiday Shoppers May Have Favored Non-Mall Retailers

Holiday Shopping

Department store chains in the United States might have experienced another disappointing holiday season, with the category of retailers that includes Macy’s, Nordstrom and JCPenney seeing overall sales drop 1.8 percent from Nov. 1 to Dec. 24, per Mastercard Spending Pulse.

More consumers are believed to have turned to retailers that aren’t at traditional malls, such as Walmart and Target, while others bought items on Amazon, CNBC reported.

Holiday sales at Macy’s fell, but not to the extent that analysts had forecasted. The retailer’s same-store sales slipped 0.6 percent at licensed and owned stores in November as well as December. Same-store sales at owned stores decreased 0.7 percent over that time. Analysts had been calling for a 1.75 percent drop in same-store sales for the fourth quarter, according to a Refinitiv poll, CNBC reported.

“Macy’s performance during the holiday season reflected a strong trend improvement from the third quarter,” CEO Jeff Gennette said, according to CNBC. “Customers responded to our gifting assortment and marketing strategy, particularly in the 10 days before Christmas.”

Shares of Macy’s increased roughly 6 percent on the news in premarket trading. The stock was under a bit more than 40 percent over the past 12 months as of the close of the market on Tuesday (Jan. 7). The report noted that the department store chain reduced its full-year sales and profit outlook when it reported quarterly earnings in November.

As previously reported, overall retail sales reflected record-high numbers this holiday season — at least in online shopping. Despite sluggish sales at physical stores, total retail numbers were close to $880 billion, up 3.4 percent from Nov. 1 and Dec. 24, compared to the same period in 2018, Mastercard reported in sales figures released late last year.

Online spending reflected 15 percent of the total, up 18.8 percent over the same period the prior year. Brick-and-mortar stores were just 1.2 percent of total sales. Year-over-year eCommerce sales were up 17 percent in specialty apparel, 7 percent in electronics, 8 percent in jewelry, and 9 percent in department stores.

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