Retailers’ sales for the festive period were boosted by last-minute shopping and reduced pre-Christmas discounting, thanks to tighter management of inventories in the run-up to the holidays.
Like-for-like sales at discounter Target rose 1.8% year on year; fashion giant Gap’s like-for-likes were up 1%, including a 7% rise at its cheaper Old Navy banner; off-price fashion retailer TJX reported a 6% rise; department store operator Macy’s reported a 1% rise; and Toys R Us like-for-likes were up 4.6%.
Like-for-likes at electronics giant Best Buy, meanwhile, climbed 9.3%;. Sears experienced mixed results, with its discount chain Kmart reporting a 5.3% rise while like-for-likes fell at Sears and other stores.
Retailers that didn’t fare quite so well included book chain Barnes & Noble, which reported a 5% fall and Abercrombie & Fitch, whose like-for-likes plummeted 19%.