Holidays Sales Still Up, Retailers Remain Aggressive

While Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales numbers were up, retailers (NYSEARCA:XRT) are saying that the increase in sales isn’t coming easy. MarketWatch quoted Gap (NYSE:GPS) Chief Executive Glenn Murphy who said, “This is just the start of the holiday-selling season and we expect December to remain fiercely competitive and highly promotional.”

Nearly half of retail sales occur in the last quarter and of those, about 40% fall in December, according to analysts. According to Retail Metrics, so far this holiday season sales are up 3.2%, outpacing the predicted 3.1%.

The majority of retailers (57%) outpaced their predicted sales. Costco (NASDAQ:COST), Victoria’s Secret (NYSE:LTD), Macy’s (NYSE:M), The Buckle (NYSE:BKE), Sak’s (NYSE:SKS), Nordstrom’s (NYSE:JWN), TJ Maxx (NYSE:TJX) and Ross (NASDAQ:ROST) were all among the group of successful retailers while Gap, JCPenney (NYSE:JCP) and Kohl’s (NYSE:KSS) posted losses.

Ken Perkins of Retail Metrics said, “Retailers will continue their aggressive promotional stance,” per MarketWatch. “Our concern is that deep discounting in November pulled forward sales out of December and we are likely to see very modest traffic and conversion levels over the next 16 days.”