September Sales Yield Optimism for Holiday Season

Oct 04, 2012 10:55 PM  By

Although it was a bit of a mixed bag for retailers after September sales figures were released today, analysts maintain the overall sales growth in September is an encouraging sign as the holiday season beckons.

Follow US!

Multichannel Merchant
Multichannel Merchant
Multichannel Merchant
O+F Operations and Fulfillment

Overall September retail sales rose 3.9%, which is much lower than the 6.4% rise in September 2011, according to

But according to the Associated Press, consumer confidence is at a seven-month high as people are feeling better about rising home prices and a rebounding stock market. Job growth remains weak and prices for everything from food to gas are higher.

According to AP, there’s also a worry that the U.S. economy will fall into another recession next year. That’s when tax increases and deep government spending cuts will take effect unless Congress reaches a budget deal.

Limited Brands and Costco posted sales increases for the month, while Target and Macy’s recorded increases lower than Wall Street expectations.

Target’s September sales rose 2.6%, to $6.08 billion. Target also announced it will no longer report monthly sales starting with the first quarter of 2013, which begins in February. Only about 13% of the roughly $2.4 trillion U.S. retail industry reports monthly revenue.

Limited Brands, which operates operator Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works and other stores, posted a 5% gain.

Conversely, Macy’s posted a 2.5% increase in September that fell short of analysts’ predictions of a gain of 3.3%. Still, the retailer said combined August-September sales rose 3.6% and ‘‘were consistent with our positive year-to-date trend,’’ said Terry Lundgren, the company’s chairman, in a press release.

Total September sales for American Apparel jumped 10%, while Gap recorded a 6% sales increase for September. Nordstrom saw its September sales rise 4.4%.

Tandy Leather Factory registered a 7% sales increase in September.