Major retailers report sluggish November sales despite holiday season


While the holiday shopping season seems to be giving our economy a much-needed jolt, some big box retailers are reporting sluggish November sales figures.

According to a report in today's New York Times, in-store sales figures at several major retailers came in well below analysts' expectations.
"It may just be more that there were some specific retailers that fell short over the Thanksgiving weekend," said Theresa Williams from IU's Kelley School of Business. "However, when you do have some major retailers that didn't make their plan there is some note of concern."

Stores like Target, Kohl's and Macy's all missed the mark for November, when compared to sales expectations. Kohl's was down 5.6 percent from last November, despite analyst expectations that figures would come in around two percent higher than last year.

"That's surprising," said a Kohl's shopper in Carmel.

However, experts said it's important to note these figures don't include online sales, which could be causing a bit of a ripple effect for retailers.

"There is a clear shift we see to online shopping," Williams said. "And the concern there is that you'll see less impulse and cross category shopping online than you do in the stores."

Still, many customers told Fox59 they prefer to shop the old fashioned way.

"I like to see what I’m going to buy," said one shopper.

"I like to touch the merchandise," agreed Diane Weir.

"I still go to the stores," said shopper Karen Kelly. "I like to be in them, it's more fun."

Retailers remain hopeful the longer holiday shopping season will produce fruitful results.

"We're not looking at forecasts that are far and away above last year, but I do believe we can pull it out in December," said Williams. "Those particular stores were down but we also had an equal number of large retailers that were up."




Look for this special section in your
Baltimore Sun newspaper on Dec. 29, 2013.
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