November Sales Tough

Retail

As of Thursday, December 3, 2015

L Brands Inc. posted great sales on November, the start of the holiday retail season.

Same-store sales increased 7 percent over the same month last year for the parent brand of Victoria’s Secret, PINK, Bath & Body Works, La Senza and Henri Bendel.

But overall November was tough for many of the retailers followed by the California Apparel News index. Zumiez Inc., the mall-based action-sports retailer, posted a 13.8 decline in November sales. Retail giant Gap Inc. declined 8 percent. The Buckle Inc., the mall-based retailer with a fleet of 469 stores, posted a decline of 7.9 percent. Off-pricer Stein Mart Inc. also posted a decline of 4.8 percent.

Retail analyst Adrienne Yih Tennant of Wolfe Research wrote in a Nov. 30 preview of the month’s business that the U.S. experienced generally warm weather during November. The balmy weather reined in demand for cold-weather clothes, which hurt sales.

In the preview, she also wrote that Black Friday weekend was “generally a disappointment.” Although, she said that during the weekend, boutiques were busy at American Eagle Outfitters, Express and Hollister as well as L Brand’s Pink and Bath & Body Works divisions.

Many businesses reported earnings for their third fiscal quarters. Zumiez reported a same-store-sales decline of 7.3 percent. Net sales declined 4.2 percent to $204.3 million from $213.3 million in the same quarter in the previous year.

Rick Brooks, Zumiez’s chief executive officer, forecast a same-store decrease of 14 percent to 16 percent for its fourth quarter of 2015. “With the fourth quarter off to a slow start combined with tougher sales comparisons ahead, we believe it’s prudent to maintain a cautious outlook for the remainder of fiscal 2015,” he said.

Tilly’s Inc. also announced on Dec. 2 results for the third fiscal quarter for its 2015 fiscal year. Same-store sales increased 3.9 percent for the Irvine, Calif.–based retailer. On Dec. 2, Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. also posted results for the third quarter of its 2015 fiscal year. Same-store sales for the quarter decreased 3 percent. The forecast for its fourth fiscal quarter ranged from a decline of 3 percent to an increase of 3 percent in same-store sales.