Thursday, January 6, 2011

Holiday retail sales numbers come in lower than projected

Every year retailers and their association say that holiday sales numbers will be fantastic -- it's all part of the holiday shopping hype. In good times or bad, the hype is the same.

That is why today's report that retail sales were up 3.1 percent was no surprise -- the forecast was for higher sales. Nonetheless, growth in retail sales has got to be better than a decline, right?

Speaking of no surprises: it's not much of a surprise that those retailers that are on the higher end of economic scale did the best -- Saks sales were up 11.8 percent and Nordstrom's sales were up 8.4 percent. The Gap, American Eagle Outfitters, AĆ©ropostale were among those reporting lower sales as compared to 2009 (Abercrombie & Fitch, though, said sales rose 15 percent).