US Holiday Comparable Sales Update: Department Stores See a Slowing Trend While a Number of Specialty Retailers Shine

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Key Points

This report reviews the latest holiday-period comparable sales growth reported by major U.S. retailers. It is an update to our report of January 15. 

  • Retailers that reported holiday sales since we published our first update did not change the picture a great deal. Department stores continued to post varied figures, though the general trend was one of slowing underlying growth. A number of specialty retailers performed well.
  • Comparable sales at department store retailer Nordstrom weakened sequentially to 1.3% over the holiday period, compared to 2.3% growth in the previous quarter. 
  • Specialty retailers such as Aritzia reported comparable sales growth of 12.9% in fiscal 3Q19, beating the consensus of 8.9%; Ascena Retail reported holiday comparable sales growth of 3%, in line with the previous quarter. 
  • Specialty retailer Vince posted direct-to-consumer same-store sales growth of 8.2% in the nine-week period ended January 5.

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