Thursday, most of the retailers have posted gains in comparable store sales for November thanks to strong head start given in the Black Friday weekend followed by Cyber Monday's record sales that came in well above expectations. The record sales provided enough optimism for the retailers to post comfortable sales growth during the holiday season.
The November comparable store sales assume significance in the wake of conflicting reports threatening to impact the consumer confidence level. However, the results of some of the retailers surpassed not only analysts' projection but even the retailers' own estimation.
Recently, the National Retail Federation's (NRF) survey of Black Friday sales touched a record $52.4 billion, representing 16% increase over the previous year Black Friday sales. The traffic too witnessed a 6.6% upside to 226 million shoppers and websites from 212 million in the year-ago period. Significantly, the average spent of shopper also grew 9% to $398.62 from $365.34, while average spending through the web increased 37.8% to $150.53 over last year. Online shoppers numbered 28.7 million, significantly higher than 22.2 million in the previous year. As much as 86.3 million people thronged the shops and online stores to shop their favorites.
The Cyber Monday sales reached $1.25 billion, recording 25% growth over $1.0 billion recorded in 2010.
The retailers are also gearing up themselves to face stronger December Christmas sales and are even contemplating to recruit seasonal workers to improve sales. The retailing companies expect a fierce competition in the offing to make most of the available opportunities to improve their bottomline.
Some of the retailers' comps have surpassed consensus estimate of analysts, while J.C.Penney (JCP), Target (TGT), Kohl (KSS) led the disappointment pack.
Prominent among the retailers to top consensus estimate include, Limited Brand (LTD) that reported comparable stores sales of 7.0%, while analysts were expecting 4.9%.