Retail Shares Take Lumps
Updated from 11:15 a.m. EST
Aggressive Black Friday promotional events had shoppers stampeding into stores throughout the post-Thanksgiving weekend in search of savings, but a wide disparity between two shopping reports left investors trying to make sense of the results.
The National Retail Federation estimated Monday that retailers recorded sales of $27.8 billion over the weekend. Total sales, including online sales, rose 22% from last year, with discounters and electronics stores attracting the most customers. On the basis of its surveys, the NRF said the average shopper spent $302.81.
Separately, ShopperTrak said consumers spent around $8.01 billion last Friday, down 0.9% from last year. It said Saturday sales were flat compared with those of last year at $5.4 billion."We saw some very deep discounts being applied through the retail space," said Bill Martin, ShopperTrak's co-founder. "When that happens, it's very difficult to live up to last year's results." Traders were recently erring on the side of caution, with the S&P Retail Index down 1.5%. The index is up more than 6% in November. Both NRF and ShopperTrak cited a decidedly promotional atmosphere in stores over the weekend, and the differences in their methodology shows who benefited from the bargain-hunting. The NRF gathered its data by surveying 4,209 consumers about their shopping progress, and the results included those people shopping online and away from malls at big-box discount chains like Wal-Mart (WMT), Best Buy (BBY) and Home Depot (HD). Meanwhile, ShopperTrak monitors store traffic only in malls, so their results left out online shoppers and many of the off-mall outlets that are growing in popularity, particularly when it comes to promotional events the day after Thanksgiving. "Value is the key for a lot of consumers this year, and that's particularly true for those shoppers going out in search of big deals on Black Friday," said Scott Krugman, a spokesman for the NRF. "Shoppers out on Black Friday are looking for door-busting deals, so they gravitated towards big discount chains rather than specialty stores and mall-based stores that can't compete in price. But these stores will probably do better as the season goes on and other people come out to shop."
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV