Retail Sales Are Robust for November


As of Thursday, December 27, 2018

November retail sales jumped 8.8 percent, paving the way for a very good holiday season.

November sales were way above the 4.2 percent increase forecast by Retail Metrics president Ken Perkins. “Holiday 2018 is likely to be a merry one,” Perkins wrote in a Dec. 6 retail note.

L Brands Inc. and Zumiez Inc. reported booming business for the month. L Brands beat forecasts, Perkins wrote. He predicted the parent company for Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works would post a 2.4 percent rise. However, L Brands reported a 9 percent gain. For November, the company’s net sales were nearly $1.6 billion.

Mall-based action-sports retailer Zumiez reported a same-store-sales increase of 2.3 percent with November net sales at $84.4 million. On Dec. 6, Zumiez also reported its third-quarter financial results with same-store sales moving up 4.8 percent and net sales totaling $248.8 million. Rick Brooks, chief executive officer of Zumiez, said November sales would support a strong fourth quarter for the company. “The fourth quarter has gotten off to a positive start driven by robust demand over the Black Friday weekend and Cyber Monday,” he said.

Denim-focused mall retailer The Buckle Inc. saw its same-store sales dip 0.6 percent while net sales were $81.3 million. Value retailer Cato Corp. reported a 6 percent same-store sales decline in November with net sales for the month totaling $59.4 million.

November’s retail sales were supported by a strong economy and a national unemployment of a very low 3.5 percent.

However, consumer confidence slipped a bit in November, according to market researchers The Conference Board. Lynn Franco, the board’s senior director of economic indicators, said it was nothing to worry about. “Despite a small decline in November, consumer confidence remains at historically strong levels,” she said in a Nov. 27 statement.