Dec. 26 - Retailers' sales barely increased this holiday season, according to a preliminary estimate- a big disappointment from optimistic expectations. Bobbi Rebell reports.
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Not much holiday cheer for retailers this year- hit early on by Hurricane Sandy- and later by consumer worries about the fiscal cliff.
Preliminary estimates from Mastercard Advisors SpendingPulse showed a gain of just 0.7 percent- much slower than in 2011.
Brian Sozzi, Chief Investment Strategist at NBG productions:
SOUNDBITE: BRIAN SOZZI, CHIEF INVESTMENT STRATEGIST, NBG PRODUCTIONS (ENGLISH) SAYING:
"You will see a lot of companies warn in terms of profits. I think those companies that will warn they will have had a lot of discounts they didn't have the right product in the store."
The companies he's most worried about?
Nordstrom- because aspirational shoppers held back on fiscal cliff worries.
Best Buy- their new price matching initiatives weren't enough to counteract poor consumer perception.
Radioshack- which Sozzi says has become too commoditized.
Among the likely winners:
Wal-Mart, Macy's, Michael Kors, and Gap according to Telsey Advisory Group.
REPORTER BRIDGE: BOBBI REBELL, REUTERS REPORTER (ENGLISH) SAYING:
In the case of Gap- analysts say it was their bright sweaters that were a hit with consumers.
Consumers definitely picked favorites this year.
Michael Niemira is the Chief Economist at the International Council of Shopping Centers:
SOUNDBITE: MICHAEL NIEMIRA, CHIEF ECONOMIST, INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF SHOPPING CENTERS (ENGLISH) SAYING:
"It has been a very uneven industry performance. probably at least for the last year and that certainly continued into the holiday season so you can pick a segment like department stores that overall is not doing that well however you can also point to individual stores, a Macy's, that is doing well. so its a very fragmented industry performance."
An early start helped retailers this year- as many added Gray Thursday- stores open on Thanksgiving- to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But there were consequences:
Chris Christopher of IHS Global Insight:
SOUNDBITE: CHRIS CHRISTOPHER, DIRECTOR, U.S. AND GLOBAL CONSUMER ECONOMICS (ENGLISH) SAYING:
"Gray Thursday, Black Friday and Cyber Monday helped boost sales in November but took away from December. In our analysis retail sales at a weekly level suffered quite a bit after black friday weekend. "
Retailers are now hoping post-Christmas sales can salvage what has been the worst holiday season since 2008- when the country was in recession.
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