Yep, it's that time of the month again. December same-store sales are out -- and they were disappointing for most specialty retailers, except for those that peddle electronics and gadgets.
First off, women's apparel retailers were mixed with shining results from
, which saw its December same-store sales rise 12.9% over the year-ago period, and
which saw sales fall 0.3%. Same-store sales are sales in stores that have been open at least a year.
reported flat sales for the month, while the lingerie company it has an 84% stake in,
, saw sales drop 3%.
First Call/Thomson Financial
expected the Limited's sales to rise 3.8%.
Abercrombie & Fitch
both saw same-store sales slide. Gap was off 6% (analysts were expecting Gap sales to fall just 2.8%), while Abercrombie dropped 11%.
Jewelers and mall staples
saw November and December sales down, 8.7% for Whitehall and 3.1% for Zale.
And even though upscale jeweler
saw sales increase 2% for the two months, it said fourth-quarter earnings will miss estimates. The company, which is synonymous with elegance and opulence, said its earnings will come in at 56 cents a share, well below the 20-analyst estimate of 64 cents.
Still, one segment of specialty retailers saw strength in December: gadgets and electronics.
said sales were 10% higher for the month, with help from online sales. Also,
rose 3.3% and
, which almost fits into that category, but also boasts home furnishings and decorative hardware, saw a 5.7% increase over the nine-week "holiday" period.