Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: If Hot Topic is any indication, November won’t be so hot

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doorbustCheck out the disappointing November sales results coming in early Wednesday morning.

Teen clothing retailer Hot Topic posted an 11.7 percent drop in November sales at stores open at least a year — worse than its own estimate of a decline of 8 percent to 11 percent.

Analysts, on average, were expecting a drop of 7.8 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data.

In November, which represents the start of the crucial selling season, same-store sales at its namesake stores fell 14.5 percent.

Check Out Line: The hurt is spreading

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TARGET/Check out the latest sales reports, which show that consumers are still cutting back on discretionary spending as they shift to discounters for the basics.  Granted, that’s not exactly news anymore, but some of this morning’s sales tell us that even the discounters are starting to feel the heat.

“Sales for the month of May were somewhat below our expectations,” chief executive officer of Target, Greg Steinhafel, said in a statement.

A Hot New Moon

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By Nivedita Bhattacharjee 
 
twilight-best-kiss-awardAs Bella and Edward move ahead, Hot Topic is all set to move with them.
 
After cashing in on Twilight’s success, Hot Topic has snapped up an exclusive deal for New Moon, the much awaited movie sequel to the star-crossed vampire romance.
 
And in good time too.

 

Priced at $22, the New Moon T-shirts might just be Hot Topic’s trump card for the season, and it looks like the retailer is leaving nothing to chance when it comes to promoting them. 
 
Ads for the T-shirts hold top spots on its website.  The company has also been sending out promotional emails to leverage interest in the items, available months ahead of the movie’s Nov. 20 release.
 
Pali Research analyst Amy Noblin received one such mailer, and says this unexpected arrival could benefit June sales results for the company. 
 
Hot Topic had boasted of a solid performance for months on end, but forecast a second-quarter loss, saying fewer people visited its stores after Easter.
 
The usually fashion-savvy company seems to have run into some trouble inventory-wise — its neon-bright jeans aren’t selling too well, and its super-successful Twilight merchandise lost some sheen over the months.

Wal-Mart wants a bite of Twilight

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twfans2Twilight was a big box office hit. 

Now Wal-Mart hopes the teen vampire sensation will amp up its sales.

The Twilight movie DVD is slated for nationwide release March 21.

Instead of simply selling the DVD in its electronics department, Wal-Mart is opening “Twilight Shops” within each of its 3,500 U.S. discount stores starting in mid-March. 

Wal-Mart will be selling the Twilight DVD movie and CD soundtrack along with Twilight clothes, posters, jewelry, bags and key chains. 

Check Out Line: December sales slump

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Check Out the drop in sales.

It was no surprise that sales were weak in December, though some retailers stood out Thursday for their worse-than-expected performance.

WALMART/Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, said sales at U.S. stores open at least a year rose just 1.7 percent, while analysts were expecting a 2.8 percent increase.  Wal-Mart and other chains such as Macy’s cut guidance for the fourth quarter ending later this month.
 
Shares of Wal-Mart fell more than 9 percent on Thursday morning, dragging the Dow Jones industrial average into negative territory as well.

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