October Sales Up Slightly

October proved to be a solid — albeit not spectacular — month for retailers as they head into the busy holiday season. When October sales figures were released Thursday, they showed many companies posting impressive same-store results and minimal monthly and quarterly gains.

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U.S. retailers such as Limited Brands, Gap, Target, Ross Stores, Nordstrom, Kohl’s and Macy’s posted modest increases in same-store sales. Many retailers began October with strong sales, according to this article on the Nasdaq website, but sputtered in the second half of the month due to warmer weather and the uncertainty regarding the next week’s presidential election.

Analysts believe November sales could be impacted by store closures and damages caused by Hurricane Sandy, which will cut into early holiday sales for retailers.

Limited Brands saw its October sales slip 6%, to $611 million and its third-quarter sales also fell 3.5%, to $6.6 billion. But its same-store sales for October rose 3%.

Target’s October sales rose 3%, to $4.98 billion while its third-quarter results showed a 4.3% rise to $49.5 billion.

Nordstrom’s October sales rose 11.5%, to $835 million while its same-store sales jumped 9.8%. Third-quarter sales soared 13.8%, to $2.71 billion while third-quarter same-store sales increased 10.7%.

Kohl’s recorded a 4.65% increase in its October sales, to $1.39 billion while third-quarter sales inched up 1.2%, to $12.9 billion.

Meanwhile, Macy’s registered a 3.6% rise in October sales, to $1.90 billion. Same-store sales for October rose 4.1%.

Macy’s president and CEO Terry J. Lundgren said in a press release that he’s confident heading into the holiday season “despite the interruption caused by Hurricane Sandy in the first few days of the fourth quarter.”

Jim Tierney (jim.tierney@penton.com) is a senior writer for Multichannel Merchant. You can connect with him on Twitter (TierneyMCM) and LinkedIn, or call him at 203-358-4265.

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