Stores struggled, often with disappointing results, to make up ground lost to the wrath of Hurricane Sandy in November.
Thomson Reuters estimated that same-store sales for the month were up 1.6 percent, less than half the final 3.3 percent increase projected gain for the month. The figure excludes drug stores and Zumiez Inc., which is scheduled to report its monthly sales when it discloses third-quarter results after the market closes today.
Macy's Inc. finished November with a 0.7 percent decline in comparable-store sales, below the 1.5 percent advance estimated by analysts. "Despite the largest-volume Thanksgiving weekend in our company’s history, we were not able to overcome the weak start to the month, which included the disruption of Hurricane Sandy," said Terry Lundgren, chairman, president and chief executive offficer of the company. "Yet we remain on track to deliver a very strong sales performance in the fourth quarter."
Among other retailers based in the Northeast, The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. concluded November with a 0.1 percent decline. "Our sales gained momentum in the second half of November after experiencing a negative impact from Hurricane Sandy earlier in the month," said Brendan Hoffman, president and ceo. "We were pleased with the traffic for Black Friday. The overall results for post-Thanksgiving were ahead of last year, led by record online orders which will benefit December sales."
Nordstrom Inc. checked in with a rare decline as comps fell 1.1 percent, hurt by both the strength of Sandy and a promotional event for women's and children's that failed to meet expectations. "Customers continue to demonstrate a strong preference for fashion and newness, which has made clearance events less compelling," the firm said. Stores in the Northeast and Middle Atlantic states were hurt by the hurricane's dramatic impact, but "sales trends in the second half of the month rebounded to their recent historical level."
Kohl's Corp.'s comps fell 5.6 percent in November, putting its year-to-date decline at 1.1 percent. Kevin Mansell, chairman, president and ceo, commented, "We are encouraged by improved sales over the Thanksgiving week. There was a significant shift in Black Friday-related sales into our e-commerce channel." E-commerce transactions and sales were both up more than 50 percent during Thanksgiving week, he said, and those sales will be included in December results.
Target Corp. fell short of its anticipated 2.1 percent increase with a 1 percent decline for the month. "November sales were below our expectations, reflecting weaker-than-planned sales performance in the first two weeks combined with stronger sales growth across all channels later in the month,” said Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and ceo.
Gap Inc. was up 3 percent for the month. Gap North America led the company portfolio with a 5 percent gain and while Old Navy lagged with a 1 percent increase.
Limited Brands Inc. was up 5 percent, a figure estimated to have been trimmed between 1 and 2 percentage points by Sandy's impact early in November. Victoria's Secret was up 4 percent and Bath & Body Works up 6 points. The company projected that its December comps would rise in the low-single digits.
Stage Stores Inc. provided the biggeset upside surprise of the month with a 13.2 percent increase in comps for the month, including a more than 20 percent increase the week of Thanksgiving. "Despite the disruptions caused by Superstorm Sandy early in the month, we achieved a comparable-store sales increase each week of November," said Michael Glazer, president and ceo of Stage.
Stein Mart Inc., expected to generate a 2.5 percent increase, instead provided a robust 7.1 percent gain.
With respective gains of 3 percent and 2 percent, the nation's largest off-price chains, The TJX Cos. Inc. and Ross Stores Inc., said they finished the month ahead of their sales plans. In both cases the figures were below the expectations of the analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.
Although far less damaging than Sandy's impact in the east, weather took a toll in other regions of the country, too. Michael Balmuth, Ross's vice chairman and ceo, noted that unseasonably warm temperatures hurt sales in the western U.S. during the first half of the month. "We are encouraged that our sales strengthened as weather normalized during the final two weeks," he said.
For most companies reporting, fiscal November ended on Nov. 24, the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion