Thursday, August 14, 2014

Sign of "Not Good" in the Economy

This outfit's same-store-sales numbers are the proverbial canary in the mineshaft.

...[Kohl's] same-store sales slipped once again, the retailer reported Thursday.

Sales at stores open at least a year, a critical measure of retailing performance, were down 1.3% for the three months ended Aug. 2, compared with 2013.

Kohl's same-store sales have fallen short of the previous year's mark in five of the last six quarters.

Shades of 2008, when they displayed a near-identical pattern.

I was conversing with a fellow in the dental-supply biz the other day who mentioned that in his business (bridges and dentures), "discretionary" spending has been about zero.  People will replace teeth if they HAVE to do so, but are not spending on "nice-to-have" work.

You can take it for what it's worth, but I think it's a "caution" sign.


Anonymous said...

Brick and mortar retail is going to continue to get slammed. Says less about the overall economy and more about the shift of retail to online purchases.

Dad29 said...

That's an opinion. If you can show s-s-s drops at Federated and other mid-range merchandisers across the board, then your opinion is much more intriguing.

Dad29 said...


The company posted stagnant same-store sales today in its second-quarter earnings report, marking the sixth straight period of no growth. The world’s largest retailer also cut its earnings forecast for the year, citing higher spending on health care and e-commerce. --Bloomberg, 8/15/14

While WallyWorld acknowledges e-commerce as a part of the problem, it would be interesting to see a breakdown of the foundation for that contention.

Anonymous said...

The shift to online isn't as fast as you think. Just released today by the Commerce Department:

- Total retail sales for the 2nd quarter were up 2.3% over the 1st quarter (seasonally adjusted).
- E-commerce sales for the 2nd quarter were up 4.9% over the 1st quarter (again seasonally adjusted), continuing a steady 2-3 point/quarter overperformance versus total dating back to 2005.
- E-commerce is now 6.4% of total retail sales.

Oh yeah, I forogt to mention that July retail sales were flat compared to June (+0.03%).

Anonymous said...

No real wage growth for the working class has a lot to do with that as well. The hope is that we'll start to see real wages improve with the improving labor market but I wouldn't count on it.