Friday, October 12, 2007

Sales at Retail Stores Are Weak In September

Sales at the largest retailers was relatively weak in September. As with previous months the high–end retailers such as Saks or Neiman Marcus showed positive sales growth where the “everyday” retailers (i.e. Kohl’s, J.C. Penney, etc.), where most people shop, showed a decline in sales.

Below is a table extracted from data given in the WSJ showing the September sales by retailer. Also given is the year-over-year (YOY) change in sales for comparable stores. Admittedly, this is not all the retailers and it only represents the largest retailers, but a few interesting things are worth noting.

1. Retail sales are dominated by just a few stores.

2. Once again the data clearly indicates that most “everyday” retailers have shown a decline in sales YOY.

3. The sales weighted average YOY growth is 0.94% in September. Correcting for
inflation, September sales did not keep up with inflation. Therefore, “real” retail sales growth has declined in the last year.

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