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Retail Sales Gain in January

Retail same-store sales increased 4.9 percent in January, which was up over December’s 3.6 percent gain and January 2011 increase of 4.2 percent. The rise can be attributed to improved results from retailers such as Costco and Target, says Kantar Re

Retail same-store sales increased 4.9 percent in January, which was up over December’s 3.6 percent gain and January 2011 increase of 4.2 percent. The rise can be attributed to improved results from retailers such as Costco and Target, says Kantar Retail. Apparel and accessory store dropped slightly below average, and department stores lagged the most, however. 

“Whether January growth can be sustained may depend on whether shoppers’ spending intentions show more signs of stalling out in the months ahead,” says Frank Badillo, senior economist, Kantar Retail. “That underlying trend appears to be overwhelmed at the moment by the mixed retail and economic reports.”

Also according to Kantar Retail, there was no improvement in the percentage of shoppers planning to spend more, although that dip is expected and relatively equal to December 2011’s statistics. More than 53 percent of shoppers plan to spend the same in the coming month, down from the high of 56 percent in February 2011, yet significantly more households report feeling “better off” than a year ago.

The biggest comparable store sales change, according to Kantar, was Zumiez, with a 10.8 percent increase, followed by Saks, with a 10.5 percent increase. The largest decrease in comparable store sales change was Wet Seal, down 13 percent.

For a complete list of the retailers and their results: http://www.kantarretail.com/pressroom/samestr_sales.pdf.

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