In comparisons of November to November sales figures across top department store retailers, the 2009 holiday season is shaping up poorly.
Analysts' projections on the 2009 holiday shopping season appear to have taken a significant hit - as Saks Inc., J.C. Penney Co., and Macy's Inc. all missed their sales benchmarks in November, a setback that very well could be a grim predictor for the remainder of the Q4 shopping period.
As a barometer for luxury retail, Saks Inc. experienced a major decline in year-on-year revenue at stores open at least one year - a drop of 26 percent, 7 percentage points below the average consensus that had been concluded among analysts at Research Metrics Inc.
"Comparable-store sales at Macy’s, the No. 2 U.S. department- store operator, dropped 6.1 percent, more than the 1.5 percent estimated fall," Bloomberg reported.
The sales declines seen broadly across the retail sector will mean that holiday shoppers will likely see deeper discounts in the coming weeks.
Overall, retail sales slipped .3 percent - with more than 80 percent of retailers missing sales projections.
"Santa delivers a big lump of coal in November," Ken Perkins, president of research company Retail Metrics Inc. told the LA Times. "It is a big disappointment. It is certainly further evidence that any recovery we have is going to be business- and capital spending-led; it's not coming on the backs of the consumer."