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minute spending surge helps paint slightly rosier
PostPosted: Sat 13:38, 31 Aug 2013

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minute spending surge helps paint slightly rosier holiday picture for retailers,[link widoczny dla zalogowanych]
- A last-minute surge in spending seems to have saved the holiday shopping season.
Major retailers including Costco, Gap and Nordstrom on Thursday reported better-than-expected revenue in December. That comes as a relief for stores, which can make up to 40 per cent of their annual revenue in the last two months of the year.
Americans spent cautiously early in the season because of the damage after Superstorm Sandy. economy falling off the "fiscal cliff," which would've triggered massive budget cuts and tax increases that would amount to less money in their pockets. But shoppers spent more freely in the final shopping days of the year.
Twenty retailers reported that revenue at stores open at least a year - an indicator of a store's health - rose an average of 4.5 per cent in December compared with the same month a year ago, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers. That's on the high end of the expected range of 4 per cent to 4.5 per cent. retail industry report monthly revenue, but the data offers a snapshot of consumer spending.
"I wouldn't be doing cartwheels that it was a particularly great or strong holiday season, but it could have been worse given the headwinds," said Ken Perkins, president of RetailMetrics, a research firm. "The government and Mother Nature were not as co-operative as retailers would have liked. was in a deep recession.
To be sure, the season had multiple fits and starts, with healthy spending during certain periods followed by stretches of tepid sales. presidential campaign,[link widoczny dla zalogowanych], followed by a surge later in the month during the four-day Thanksgiving weekend. Spending fell off after that until a rush right before and after Christmas when some stores began offering bigger discounts.
Nordstrom, for instance, had a particularly strong December, with revenue at stores open at least a year up 8.6 per cent,[link widoczny dla zalogowanych], more than double the 3.4 per cent analysts expected. The Seattle-based department store operator said revenue was particularly strong in the last week of the season.
"That last-minute shopping, coupled with post-Christmas bargain hunting and early gift-card redemption,[link widoczny dla zalogowanych], helped propel sales at the end of the month," said Michael P. Niemira,[link widoczny dla zalogowanych], ICSC's chief economist.
Kelly Tenedini, 35,[link widoczny dla zalogowanych], decided to pick up some "filler" gifts for her mom and her sister on the Sunday before Christmas at the Target in the Edgewood Retail District in Atlanta. He scooped up bargains, including 75 per cent off Sketcher sneakers at Macy's.
For the season,[link widoczny dla zalogowanych], he was planning to spend about $400 to $500 for gifts for his three boys, ages 5,[link widoczny dla zalogowanych], 8 and 22 -- the same amount he spent a year ago.
Gonzales,[link widoczny dla zalogowanych], who works at a bank, said he's glad he waited until later in the season to shop: "I am budgeting."
While the last-minute promotions may have drawn shoppers like Tenedini and Gonzalez,[link widoczny dla zalogowanych], they also ate into stores' profits.
For instance, Kohl's said its December revenue at stores open at least a year increased 3.4 per cent, beating Wall Street predictions. But the retailer said that the growth came from heavy discounts, and it cut its profit outlook for the current quarter and full year.
"Sales came late in the holiday shopping season and, as a result, were at deeper discounts than planned," said CEO Kevin Mansell. "We are taking the necessary markdowns in the fourth quarter to manage our inventory as we transition into the Spring season.".



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