retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The New York Times this morning reports that "Sales at stores open at least a year declined in November at major American store chains, including Macy’s, Nordstrom, Kohl’s and Target, sending a shiver through the retail world Thursday.

"The reporting period included Thanksgiving and Black Friday, the official kickoff of the critical holiday shopping season. Early reports regarding those days had been mixed, and the individual retailers’ dim results suggest a big challenge in the coming weeks for retailers. Craig Johnson, a retail consultant and president of Customer Growth Partners, said that early November was weak across the board and not just in the Northeast, which was hit by Hurricane Sandy in late October."

The story says that "over all, the 16 retailers tracked by Thomson Reuters that reported results Thursday recorded a 1.6 percent increase in sales at stores that were open at least a year. Analysts had expected a 3.3 percent jump."
KC's View:
In reporting same-store sales that were down 1.1 percent, Nordstrom said that the problem was a weaker-than-expected clearance sale, which seemed to happen because its customers want products that are newer and more fashionable, as opposed to on sale. Which is an unexpected read on its particular situation...