Retail Sales in December See Mixed Results

December’s business is a crucial part of the holiday season’s sales, but for some retailers sales dipped from last year.

Macy’s Inc., the country’s largest department-store chain, said soft sales undercut its holiday business during December.

“The holiday season began strong—particularly during Black Friday and the following Cyber Week—but weakened in the mid-December period and did not return to expected patterns until the week of Christmas,” said Jeff Gennette, Macy’s chairman and chief executive officer.

Growth for Macy’s was seen in categories that included outerwear and activewear, but that was counteracted by soft performance in women’s sportswear and fashion watches. Macy’s said its same-store sales for November and December were up only 0.7 percent.

The denim-focused retailer The Buckle Inc. saw its same-store sales for the five-week period ending Jan. 5 slide 0.2 percent while net sales for the period were up 6.7 percent to $134 million.

Meanwhile, L Brands Inc. reported its same-stores sales for the month were flat, and net sales dipped to $2.477 billion from $2.5 billion the previous December.

Action-sports retailer Zumiez Inc. had more-positive results with same-store sales edging up 4.9 percent for the five-week period ending Jan. 5. The action-sports retailer reported its net sales for the five-week period were up 2.9 percent to $164.6 million compared with last year.