Superstorm Sandy softened November retail sales

Despite record Black Friday weekend sales, Superstorm Sandy soaked November sales for most major retailers.

Menomonee Falls-based Kohl’s Corp. reported today that for the four-week month ended Nov. 24, comparable store sales decreased 5.6 percent from the same period a year ago.
Kevin Mansell, Kohl’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, said, “Though November sales were lower than expectations, we are encouraged by improved sales over the Thanksgiving week. There was a significant shift in Black Friday-related sales into our E-Commerce channel. For the week, both transactions and sales in E-Commerce increased over 50 percent with most of these sales being recognized in December. The combination of these E-Commerce sales and our store sales resulted in higher sales for the last week of the month.”
The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., which operates headquarters in Milwaukee and York, Pa., today reported comparable store sales decreased 0.1 percent.
Brendan Hoffman, president and CEO of Bon-Ton Stores, said, “Our sales gained momentum in the second half of November after experiencing a negative impact from Hurricane Sandy earlier in the month. We were pleased with the traffic for Black Friday. The overall results for post-Thanksgiving were ahead of last year, led by record online orders which will benefit December sales. Solid performances were achieved in our ready-to-wear categories, which continued to outperform total company. We attribute this trend to an improved alignment of traditional and updated merchandise, as well as the addition of key vendors to our assortments this fall season. Other categories with solid results were fine jewelry, cosmetics, accessories, men’s and cold weather apparel. Our inventories are well-positioned for what we believe will be a strong finish to the holiday season.”
Other retailers reporting drops in November sales included Nordstrom Inc. (down 1.1 percent); Target Corp. (down 1.0 percent); and Macy’s Inc. (down 0.7 percent).

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