Retailers Report Mixed November Sales

The traditionally bustling holiday shopping kickoff had little impact on November sales for several large retailers, as consumers continued to seek out discounts.

Department stores by far experienced the greatest losses, with Saks falling 25.1 percent to $245.1 million for the four weeks ended Nov. 28. Macy’s total sales dropped to $2.3 billion (down 6.3 percent), and same store sales fell 6.1 percent for the four weeks ended Nov. 29. Meanwhile, JC Penney was down 5.9 percent. Both Saks and Macy’s expect fourth quarter sales totals to be down also.

On the other hand, warehouse club sales faired well. Costco same store sales jumped 9 percent to $6.04 billion for the four weeks ended Nov. 29, marking the club’s third consecutive month of increase. BJ’s also saw significant sales increases (6.4 percent with a total of $833.6 million), which ended its repeated decline since March.

Other retailers also posted gains. Walgreens same store sales grew 8.7 percent to total $5.4 billion, while Target’s same store sales inched up 1.5 percent to total $5.7 billion. Rite Aid, however, reported a loss of 0.8 percent, with sales declining 2.4 percent and pharmacy sales remaining flat.