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Retail Sales Drop Less Than Expected

More doom and gloom from those depression boosters at the Associated Press [with some interpolations]:

Retailers report sales declines in February

By ANNE D’INNOCENZIO, AP Business Writer

NEW YORK – With their confidence hitting new lows, shoppers remained focused on groceries and other necessities in February, resulting in another month of sales declines for many merchants. But the figures weren’t as dismal as in January, and Wal-Mart’s gains far outpaced expectations.

In the sales results released Thursday, mall-based clothing chains including Wet Seal Inc., Stage Stores Inc. and American Eagle Outfitters Inc. continue to struggle with a sales slump, but the declines weren’t as steep as Wall Street expected. At teen retailer The Buckle Inc., the same-store gain was more than double what Wall Street expected…

Nevertheless, analysts were quick to say that February’s figures — helped by stores’ better control of their inventory — are unlikely to mark the beginning of a recovery. Consumers are still grappling with massive job cuts, tight credit and plummeting stock portfolios. The fear is that the economy could deteriorate even more as more people lose their jobs and are forced to slash spending even further

February’s figures are expected to mark the industry’s fifth straight month of overall same-store sales declines.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., though, posted much stronger results than analysts expected, saying its February same-store sales rose 5.1 percent. The results exclude fuel sales. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters, on average, expected a rise of 2.4 percent. [More than double.] …

Rival Target Corp.’s same-store sales declined 4.1 percent, less than the 4.8 percent drop that Wall Street expected.

Macy’s Inc.’s same-store sales fell 8.5 percent, deeper than the 7.3 percent decline that Wall Street expected. [Only loss greater than expert predictions.]

TJX Cos., which sells discounted name-brand merchandise, said sales were flat from a year ago — better than the 1.8 percent drop expected

Limited Brands Inc., which operates Victoria’s Secret and Bath and Body Works, posted a decline of 7 percent. Analysts expected a drop of 7.1 percent. Stage Stores said same-store sales fell 8.6 percent, less than the 9.3 percent drop analysts expected.

Teen retailer American Eagle Outfitters Inc. posted a 7 percent decline, less than the 13.4 percent drop forecast by Wall Street. The Wet Seal Inc. posted a 6.6 percent decline, less than the 12 percent drop expected by analysts. [Half the expected drop for both.]

But The Buckle Inc. posted a 21 percent increase in February, far above the 9 percent gain expected. And Hot Topic Inc. reported Wednesday that its same-store sales rose 10.8 percent, more than double what analysts predicted, as teens snapped up accessories. [Triple and double over what the experts predicted.]

Apparently it would fly in the face of our watchdog media’s agenda to play up the positives rather than the negatives in the economy – even in their own articles.

Indeed, note the photo that the AP ran with this story. The caption reads: A raven sits in an empty basket outside of the Target store in Anchorage, Alaska Wednesday Feb. 25, 2009.

It’s not just any bird, but a raven. A bird that has been considered historically to be an omen of evil times or imminent death. (Though, to our eyes it appear to be a crow.)

The media and their almost always wrong ‘experts’ seem to be only interested in fear mongering.

If these stores are representatives of the current retail clothing sector, then the trend would seem to be already turning around.

But we can’t have that.

No, we must have more and more stories of the economic ‘crisis’ until each and every one of the administration’s “social justice” programs have been pushed through.

And the truth — and the economy — be damned.

(Thanks to Odie1941 for the heads up and comments.)

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, March 5th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

11 Responses to “Retail Sales Drop Less Than Expected”

  1. Trogdor says:

    It’s all so predictable. More people shopping at WalMart during tough times? But the real prediction was that the Democrats and Obama want desperately to change America into USSA, and by destroying Capitalism and prosperity thus creating a vacuum, it will be easy to foist the hammer and sickle in it’s place.

  2. 1sttofight says:

    Must not be too bad, Target is going to open 27 new stores and hire 4700 people.


    • catie says:

      Yeah, Target is even opening in the 50th state. But you know the dims will say that “these aren’t really important jobs”.

  3. MinnesotaRush says:

    Just gotta make sure they’re driving that bad news, doom and gloom point home each and every time ….

    “NEW YORK – With their confidence hitting new lows…” (shoppers)

  4. Celina says:

    That is my local Target. It is less than 5 minutes by car from my house. Crows are EVERYWHERE up here. All the time. It is actually smaller than many I have seen up here.

  5. crosspatch says:

    This pretty much validates my own personal experience at local stores and malls since Christmas … they are PACKED.

    My daughter’s friend had a b’day party at a place in a local mall a couple of weeks ago. The mall was packed, it took 30 minutes to find a place to park. On the way home we passed a large mall. The freeway exit that leads to the mall was backed up about a quarter mile onto the freeway and the parking structures appeared packed. The last time I was in that mall it was also packed but that was before Christmas.

    This is in contrast to the slowdown back around 1990-1991 here when the stores were empty. There is even another mall nearby that had almost died. All of the stores on one floor had closed. They opened a new theater there and put in a food court again as the old one had been removed several years back. The place was the most crowded I have seen in 10 years. I actually had to look for a parking place.

  6. Big E says:

    I await the day when Obama gives them the thumbs up and the media start talking up the economy irregardless of how well its actually doing. Expect that to happen in spring of 2010 and to build to a crescendo of “silver lining” reporting of bad economic news by fall of 2012. It wouldn’t surprise me if Obama tries to politicize economic reporting in order to goose his numbers which will be dismal if accurately reported.

  7. Odie44 says:

    Thanks SG – I promise to format , like a big boy on my own;)

    This also lends to the media’s overall “economic reporting” and investments in general. Most people wouldnt even read through this article and actually pay attention to the positives, then poll negatively in that bogus “consumer confidence” poll and index.

    Now we know why people , with 401k’s, IRA’s, etc just go with the headline flow , don’t actively manage their accounts (95% of retirement allow this) and are shocked when they are down 45%. They look to various forms of “investment 101 advice” aside from doing their own homework. I am a huge earnings conference call nerd. I love to pick through what is actually said, add/minus analysts Q&A, along with executive answers – so I am ahead of the curve.

    The boobs for AP, AFP, Reuters, etc that “write on financial issues” are low level, fly by night copy and paste “reporters”.

    Add in Bambi’s doomsday edict – no wonder the market got slaughtered – DOW down 4.1% today, NASDAQ down 4%

    And normally – any core industry that actually beats analysts expectations – even at a loss, like the 8 above – would normally constitute a huge buy-in with stock price going up.

  8. xdannyh says:

    Well let’s see: we had a 3 month moratorium on foreclosures and much forward looking news articles into the mortgage re-adjustments to be authorized by President “screw-up”. So the why pay the “predatory” mortgage victims just decided to go shopping instead. Why Not! Uncle Sugar will take care of it. One of these days the sheeple that actually pay the freight for all the free loaders are going to figure out that if they just skipped the monthly stipend to the IRS They too could buy a lot of stuff and live a better life. I’d love to see BHO have that nightmare!

  9. 12 Gauge Rage says:

    When I bought my house just two years ago it was on the edge of town. But in those two years there has been an explosion of strip malls, a Super Target, high end stores etc, being built. The economy can’t be too much in the tank because all these new stores and restaurants are always packed. So there is money being circulated out there.

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