"Our Children and Grandchildren are not merely statistics towards which we can be indifferent" JFK

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

U.S. Chain Store Sales fall 2.1% week ending 12/4/10 (oh...oh...Grinch Sighting)

Retail stocks have been on a tear in 2010 with many publically traded retailers up 30 to 60% YTD. The media and naturally CNBC have been giddy with the Black Friday Results as they would have you believe it is a clear indication of increased consumer confidence.

Grandpa maintains those buying retailer stocks in December could very well be in for a rude awakening. When the retail community commences with Black Friday prior to Halloween and offers significant discounts 1 1/2 months prior to Christmas, I believe a measurable amount of the traditional December shopping volume was completed prior to December 1st. Time will tell however it will be "telling" sooner than late,r given 2.5 weeks until Christmas.

Not only were the week ending 12/4/10 chain store sales down 2.1% from week ending 11/27/10, the weekly change was negative 3 of the prior 4 reporting weeks. No, CNBC will not dig too deeply on this as Erin Burnett must keep the glass 1/2 full no matter the outcome to your portfolio. Just be careful out there.....XRT (retail ETF) is at all time highs since June 2006???...but hey, I am just the grandpa dude.

Dec 7 (Reuters) - The International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs on Tuesday released the following seasonally adjusted weekly data on U.S. chain store retail sales.

Week Ending Index 1977 = 100 
Week Ending      Index             Year/Year Change          Weekly Change

Dec 4                  495.9                     2.6%                                -2.1%
Nov 27                 506.6                     3.5%                                 0.5
Nov 20                 503.9                     2.8%                                -0.6
Nov 13                 507.0                     3.4%                                -0.1

ICSC Research expects same-store sales for December to increase by 3.0 to 3.5 percent.The ICSC weekly U.S. retail chain store sales index is a joint publication between ICSC and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. It measures nominal same-store sales, excluding restaurant and vehicle demand, and represents about 75 retail chain stores. Link to ICSC

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