Most U.S. retailers turned in solid finish to the holiday season, despite bargain-hungry consumers who put off their holiday shopping until the last-minute in order to snag the very best deals, and mild temperatures, which dampened demand for winter apparel.
"It was a very promotional Christmas," said Adrianne Shapira, a retail analyst at Goldman Sachs. "We've been calling it was a 'White-knuckle Christmas.' It came late and it came on sale."
On average, same-store sales rose 3.4 percent, a touch higher than the 3.3 percent estimate from Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. The gain also outpaced last December's 3.1 percent same-store sales gain.
The sales increase was led by stronger-than-expected performances at retailers such as Macy's,Limited and Zumiez, which all raised their earnings forecasts.
But there were some notable weak spots. Retailers such as Target,Kohl's ,J.C. Penney , and Children's Place Retail Stores cut their earnings outlooks.
"The holiday results reflect trends we can continue to expect into the New Year," said Frank Badillo, a senior economist at Kantar Retail. "We're seeing weak-to-modest growth overall that hides pockets of strength skewed toward upscale retailers and value-focused retailers that win over shoppers at the expense of their competitors."Page 1 of 4 | Next Page