The combination of poor sales early in November and a fairly disappointing Black Friday may not bode well for the retail sales reports tomorrow. Tight consumer spending and intense price wars may continue to put pressure on sales and margins for the nation’s retailers.
According to Retail Metrics, industry same-store sales are expected to rise 2.2 percent (less than the 2.6 percent gain forecasted at the beginning of the month). Still, that is a meager gain considering the extremely easy comps from last November, when same-store sales plunged 7.3 percent from 2007 levels.
Specific areas of concern tomorrow: department stores and teen apparel retailers, whose sales are expected to lag the industry average with disappointing sales late in the month. The weakness in department stores is particularly surprising. According to Retail Metrics, department stores saw some of the best retail traffic the weekend after Thanksgiving, but may have ultimately failed to convert much of the high traffic into sales.
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