Retail Sales Prep: Strong Start to the Holidays?

Monthly sales reports from retailers in November are expected to be strong, fueled by early holiday promotions and strong sales over the Thanksgiving weekend.

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The Thomson Reuters Same-Store Sales Index is expected to post 3.6 percent growth in November 201, considerably higher than the 0.5 percent gain last year.

According to analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters, all retail sectors are expected post gains.

However, anecdotal evidence suggests there could be strong gains posted by teen apparel retailers. In a research note, Thomson Reuters analyst Jharonne Martis-Olivo said there were long lines at both Aeropostale , which was offering discounts of as much as 70 percent off, and even longer lines at American Eagle and Hollister, which weren't offering such steep discounts.

"Teen spending is a good proxy of discretionary spending, and teenagers are paying higher prices now," Martis-Olivo said.

Online sales also have been strong. Cyber Monday sales topped $1 billion, making it the busiest online shopping day ever, research firm ComScore said.

Consumer Nation - Holiday Central Edition - See Complete Coverage
Consumer Nation - Holiday Central Edition - See Complete Coverage

There also have been reports that shoppers were beginning to treat themselves while they shopped. If this is true it bodes well for the retail sector.

Still, there remain concerns that the early promotions could have shifted some of the holiday sales into November at the expense of December. It is hoped that some of the retailers will provide some insight into these trends when they release their monthly sales reports on Thursday.

A breakdown of the estimates follows:

November Same-Store Sales Estimates

November 2010 Estimates
November 2009 Actuals
Costco 6.2% 6.0%
BJ Wholesale 3.9% 1.0%
Target 3.7% (1.5%)
JC Penney 3.1% (5.9%)
Kohl's Department Store 2.8% 3.3%
Dillards Department Store 3.0% (11.0%)
JW Nordstrom 3.8% 2.2%
Saks Department Store 9.5% (26.1%)
Stage Stores 2.8% (12.5%)
Macy's 5.0% 4.3%
Gap 2.6% 0.0%
TJX 2.9% 2.0%
Limited 4.0% 3.0%
Ross Stores 2.8% 8.0%
Stein Mart 0.5% (7.2%)
Abercrombie 6.8% (17%)
American Eagle 1.4% (2.0%)
Aeropostale 0.9% 7.0%
Hot Topic (4.6%) (11.7%)
Wet Seal 0.8% (5.0%)
The Buckle 3.8% 1.4%
Zumiez 12.6% (8.5%)
Walgreen 2.9% 3.9%
Rite Aid (1.0%) (0.8%)
Source: Thomson Reuters; Figures in parenthesis are losses.

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