Retailers Wait for Holiday Demand

As skittish consumers play the waiting game in a promotional wonderland, retailers recorded below-plan same-store sales performance in the first week of December, the Johnson Redbook reported.

"Retailers described the week as a lull, which began the weekend after a hectic, for some, post-Thanksgiving surge. Retailers noted, however, that the pause was typical of the first week of December and would likely be followed by a steady buildup towards Christmas," said Redbook analyst Catlin Levis. "In addition, the sales results during the week were also negatively impacted by comparisons with last year's Hanukkah."

Upstairs chains fell 1.1 percentage points behind the pace, which in their case is for a dismal target of a negative 8.6% comp drop for the five-week retail month.

Discounters in the week pushed comps up 5.7% – but this was a full 1.5 percentage points under their full-month goal.

"If December follows a typical pattern, as expected, sales are likely to slow down in the next week before accelerating into Hanukkah followed by both pre and post Christmas rushes as falling gasoline prices and pent-up demand may lift sales," Levis suggested.

Johnson Redbook Index
First week of December, year-over-year % change

Week ended 12/6 12/13 12/20 12/27 1/3 Month Target
*Including chain stores and traditional department stores
Source: Johnson Redbook Index
Department stores* -9.7 -9.7 -8.6
Discounters 5.7 5.7 7.2
Redbook Index -0.8 -0.8 0.6

Home & Textiles Today Staff | News & Commentary

 Home Textiles Today is the market-leading brand covering the home and textiles markets, offering a comprehensive package of print and online products. Home & Textiles Today provides industry news, product trends and introductions, exclusive industry research, consumer data, store operations solutions, trade show news and much more.

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