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Retail Sales Are Soft in December

24/7 Wall St.

100267991The holiday shopping season got off to a fast start, but concluded with a whimper and not the anticipated bang. It appears that the booming start pulled sales forward and retailers didn’t do enough — i.e., add to discounts — to attract shoppers between Black Friday and mid-December.

Retail Metrics said this morning that it is now expecting December same-store sales to rise by just 1.9% year-over-year, down 60 basis points from an initial estimate of 2.5% growth at the beginning of the month. Excluding drug store sales, same-store sales are now expected to rise 3%, a full percentage point below the earlier estimate.

The retail research firm noted that expectations for specialty retailers Gap Stores Inc. (NYSE: GPS), Limited Brands Inc. (NYSE: LTD), Ross Stores Inc. (NASDAQ: ROST) and The TJX Companies Inc. (NYSE: TJX) have all been lowered.

Department stores…

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