January Sales Considered Strong Start for 2015

Retail Sales

As of Friday, February 13, 2015

Same-store sales were projected to increase 3.1 percent, according to an index maintained by Retail Metrics, a Boston-area market research company. Wall Street analysts and economists, such as Jack Kleinhenz of the National Retail Federation, believed that January’s sales performance was proof that 2015 was starting on a strong note.

However, January sales results seemed mixed for specialty retail. Gap Inc., based in San Francisco, reported a 3 percent decline in same-store sales in January. Zumiez Inc., headquartered in Lynnwood, Wash., reported a same-store sales increase of 16 percent.

L Brands, the parent company of Victoria’s Secret and Bed, Bath and Beyond, posted an increase of 7 percent during the month. The Buckle Inc. posted a slight increase of 0.8 percent.

Gap also announced results for the fourth quarter of its 2014 fiscal year on Feb. 9. The sprawling specialty retailer’s net sales increased 3 percent to $4.71 billion for the fourth quarter of 2014, compared to $4.58 billion which was reported in the same quarter in the previous year, said Sabrina Simmons, chief financial officer of Gap.

Gap’s same-store sales increased 2 percent for the fourth quarter of 2014, compared with 1 percent in the fourth quarter last year. Simmons said that same-store sales were driven by an 11 percent growth in comp sales from its Old Navy division.