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Major retailers post mixed holiday sales reports

Several major retailers posted holiday sales earnings Jan. 3, showing mixed reports.

Both Target Corp. and Macy’s Inc.  saw essentially flat growth, while Nordstrom Inc. saw sales increase and Barnes & Nobles Inc. saw sales decrease.

“December sales were slightly below our expectations, as strong results late in the month did not completely offset softness in the first three weeks,” said Gregg Steinhafel, Target CEO, in a press release.

Target net retail sales for the holiday season increased 0.8 percent compared to last year, earning $10 billion in five weeks ending Dec. 31. Year-to-date sales increased 3.3 percent.

At Macy’s, December sales increased 3.6 percent compared to last year, while year-end sales to date increased 3.3 percent.

“While the rate of growth was somewhat less than we had expected in the first two months of the fourth quarter, it came amid some significant headwinds from uncertain economic news and the lingering effects of Hurricane Sandy,” said Terry J. Lundgren, Macy’s CEO, in a press release. “All said, we are proud of our accomplishments in driving growth this holiday season and we believe we continued to gain market share.”

To contrast, Nordstrom December sales increased 9.4 percent compared to last year and 10.2 percent year-to-date. Reporting nine weeks of holiday sales, Barnes & Noble saw a 10.9 percent decrease year-over-year due to lower unit volume and average selling prices.

“NOOK device sales got off to a good start over the Black Friday period, but then fell short of expectations for the balance of holiday,” said William Lynch, Barnes & Noble CEO, in a press release. ”We are examining the root cause of the December shortfall in sales, and will adjust our strategies accordingly going forward.”

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About The Author

Jennifer Bissell
Reporter

Jennifer Bissell is a reporter for both the Fairfield and Westchester business journals. Previously she attended the University of Minnesota and contributed to several regional publications including the St. Paul Pioneer Press, St. Cloud Times and Twin Cities Business magazine.

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