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US Holiday 2016 Result Update: Disappointing Results to Drive Retail Reorganization in 2017

Executive Summary

  • The majority (66%) of the 32 companies we tracked that have provided holiday updates have either reported declines in holiday comps or noted that they had a worse-than-expected holiday season in 2016.
  • Weak store traffic, heavy promotions across categories and sales volatility throughout the season were the common challenges mentioned by retailers.
  • A few retailers had a positive holiday, including Amazon, The Children’s Place, Francesca’s, Gap, Lululemon Athletica, PVH and Steve Madden. Many of these companies updated their outlook based on positive holiday results. In addition, Costco’s December results were better than expected, and the company saw positive traffic trends.
  • While the results reported so far do not paint an optimistic picture for 2017, it is important to note that many big retailers have yet to release their holiday figures. Some of them could post positive results, which would somewhat alter the current outlook for 2017.
  • That said, disappointing holiday results for many department stores and specialty retailers—against a favorable macro backdrop and positive weather trends—point to structural challenges in retail, which suggests a difficult 2017.

Click here to read Coresight’s coverage on US holiday retail and gain key retail insights for 2019 and prior years.

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