Gap Inc. spared poor retail sales figures for Dec. 2012
By Jay Keller
While some retailers were spared a decline in total sales, the retail sales numbers prove what many analysts and retail industry experts have feared for the past several weeks.
Of the top-five specialty apparel retailers, the Monthly Retail Report showed that only The Gap was spared a decline in comparable store sales for the prior month as compared to the same month last year.
Other brands owned by the Gap Inc. contributed to the overall five-percent net growth in December 2012. Old Navy North America reported the largest increase of 13 percent in Dec. 2012 versus four percent in Dec. 2011.
Gap North America showed a positive two percent increase while Banana Republic North America reported a one-percent increase. International reported negative sales but the Thursday acquisition of Intermix by The Gap was greeted with optimism by news outlets.
As for general merchandisers, Macy’s Inc. saw sales decline in 2012 while Target basically broke even in a comparison of same-month sales from the previous year. For Kohls and Costco, each reported good news with increased sales in December 2012.
The year-to-date comparable store sales for 2012 versus 2011 showed that some top specialty apparel retailers fared better than others.
The Limited reported a four-percent decrease in comparable store sales, dropping from 10 percent in 2011 to just six percent in 2012. The Buckle, however, saw nearly a six-percent decrease in year-over-year comparisons.
General merchandisers over the 12-month period between through December 2012 either experienced a decline in sales or just about the same as in 2011.
Sage Stores reported a five-percent increase in sales during this period was the only retailer who showed a net increase of more than one or two percentage points. Costco, Macy’s, Kohl’s and Target were among the retailers reporting a decline in total year-to-date sales for this year as compared to the same period last year.