Same Store Retail Sales Growth - Best In 12 Years

Same Store Retail - Department Store Black Friday Shopping

Bears will claim Black Friday holiday shopping was weak because traffic to stores fell, while bulls will point to great online sales growth. I think it was a great holiday shopping season. Online sales growth had been sagging a bit recently.

However, Black Friday is a unique event for online sales to gain traction. The crowds at stores make Black Friday shopping much worse than usual. It makes much more sense to shop from home than to wait outside a store for hours.

The initial data isn’t perfectly accurate. We’ll need to wait for the November retail sales report and Q4 earnings reports from retailers early next year to determine how it went.

We’re only seeing slight weakness in the jobless claims. Gas prices are falling quickly and wage growth is accelerating. Personally, I think this holiday shopping season is going to be fantastic.

According to RetailNext, which uses cameras to track traffic at malls and stand alone stores, traffic on Thanksgiving and Black Friday fell from 5% to 9%.

It would be surprising if that data is accurate. Even though shopping online makes more sense, the strong economy should prevent declines of that magnitude.

ShopperTrak estimates traffic fell 1% year over year. I expect that estimate to be more accurate.

Same Store Retail - Great Online Sales

According to Adobe, online sales from Wednesday through Black Friday increased 26.4% to $12.3 billion.

It’s easier to track online sales than in-store sales, which means I trust this data more. That would be a big increase. Online sales are likely above 10% of overall sales. They boosted this holiday season’s sales sharply.

The only problem for retailers is online sales have been hurting gross margins as we saw in Target’s latest report.

Same Store Retail - Best Redbook Sales Growth In 12 Years

Redbook’s weekly year over year same store sales growth for the week of November 24th was 7.9% which was much higher than the prior growth of 6.2%.

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