SAN FRANCISCO/CHICAGO (Reuters) – Consumers spent significantly less per person at the start of the holiday season this weekend, dimming hopes for a retail comeback that would help propel the economy early in 2010.
The lackluster spending could pressure retail stocks on Monday as some investors were looking for a stronger showing compared with a year earlier, when consumers were being hammered by the recession and credit crunch.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Consumers found time this U.S. Thanksgiving Day to squeeze in a lot more holiday shopping online, in between spending time with family, watching football and feasting on turkey.
EBay Inc’s PayPal online payments division said that on Thanksgiving day, its volume of payments jumped 25 percent from a year ago. Last year on Thanksgiving day, PayPal said it notched a 15 percent increase from a year earlier.
SAN FRANCISCO, Nov 24 (Reuters) – Dollar Tree Inc <DLTR.O>
reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit and raised its
full-year outlook as shoppers sought its low prices on
everything from hand sanitizers to Halloween candy, and its
shares rose over 5 percent.
Dollar Tree, which sells most of its merchandise for $1,
said sales were driven by demand for health and beauty care
items, household cleaning supplies and party goods. In the
fourth quarter, which includes the busy holiday season, it
expects sales of discretionary merchandise to rise.
Check out more retailers reminding Wall Street that all is not well on Main Street.On Friday morning, AnnTaylor Stores reported lower-than-expected quarterly revenue and gave a cautious forecast for the current holiday quarter.The operator of the Ann Taylor and Ann Taylor LOFT chains said its fourth-quarter sales would be slightly below those of the third quarter, and that its gross margins would be lower as well, due to heightened promotions it expects to use to drive sales throughout the holiday shopping period.Meanwhile, Foot Locker late on Thursday reported third-quarter results that missed Wall Street expectations. The athletic shoe retailer cited lower than expected U.S. sales.On a conference call on Friday morning, Foot Locker said it expected same-store sales for the holiday fourth quarter to be negative.Foot Locker and AnnTaylor join a chorus of retailers ranging from Macy’s to Kohl’s to Wal-Mart that have warned investors in recent weeks that the holiday shopping season may be a little less merry than the stock market is expecting as consumers continue to show a reluctance to spend.Or as Doug Scovanner, the CFO of Target, said quite pointedly earlier this week: “In our view, sell-side analysts are somewhat more optimistic across most of our industry than we believe is warranted in light of the harsh realities of the current environment.”Also in the basket:US shoppers going green despite struggling economyPhilip Morris ordered to pay $300 million to smokerP&G repurchasing shares, quiet on potential dealsFerrero, Hershey would likely break up Cadbury: report(Photo: Reuters)
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Walmart.com will pull no punches in its quest to win market share this holiday season, introducing 97-cent shipping on electronics and offering daily discounts the week after Thanksgiving, its chief executive said on Wednesday.
The online division of Wal-Mart Stores Inc <WMT.N> has already set its sights on Amazon.com Inc’s <AMZN.O> lead in the market with steep price cuts on books and DVDs. Now it is digging deeper to gain an advantage starting on U.S. Thanksgiving next Thursday.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – BJ’s Wholesale Club Inc <BJ.N> reported a 37 percent drop in quarterly profit on Wednesday, hurt by a charge for a proposed legal settlement regarding worker pay.
Excluding the charge, its earnings per share met analysts’ expectations and the retailer reiterated its earnings forecast for the fourth-quarter, which includes the holiday season.
SAN FRANCISCO, Nov 17 (Reuters) – Target Corp <TGT.N>
forecast a holiday quarter profit that could fall short of Wall
Street estimates, saying early sales results for November
showed tepid consumer demand, and shares fell 4 percent.
Target’s view for the holiday season overshadowed its
report of higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Tuesday. The
discount retailer is facing a budding holiday season price war
against much larger rival Wal-Mart Stores Inc <WMT.N> and
online retailer Amazon.com Inc <AMZN.O>.
SAN FRANCISCO/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Wal-Mart Stores Inc <WMT.N> is helping “well over 1,000″ of its apparel suppliers secure financing based on the strength of its own credit rating.
The program, outlined in a November 2 letter to suppliers, was designed to address concerns about liquidity, company spokesman John Simley said.
Check out consumers stepping up their online bargain hunting ahead of the holiday shopping rush.According to Hitwise, searches for retailer promo codes rose 19 percent last week compared with 2008.Those numbers should rise headed into “Cyber Monday” – the Monday after Thanksgiving when retailers shift from in-store to online promotions.Last year, Hitwise said searches on a portfolio of search terms for specific retailers (i.e. ‘target coupons’, ‘target coupon codes’ and ‘target free shipping code’) peaked during the week of Cyber Monday, up 76 percent from 2007.So who is doing this searching? Hitwise looked at the demographics of online bargain hunters in the 8 weeks ending Dec. 27, 2008. It found the split is even for male and female searchers. Just over half of the searchers were between the ages of 25 to 44, and Hitwise said the younger searchers, aged 25 to 34, were more likely to search for retailer coupons than the rest of the online population.It also found the greatest share of searches are from those making between $30,000-$60,000 and $60,000-$100,000.Also in the basket:Dollar General IPO prices at low end, rue21 aboveKraft seen saving Cadbury sweetener for end-gameAbercrombie & Fitch profit higher than expectedJC Penney Q3 profit falls, shares up on forecastNordstrom profit below Street view, shares fall(Photo: Reuters)