The 2012 holiday season may have been the worst for retailers since the 2008 financial crisis, with sales growth far below expectations, forcing many to offer massive post-Christmas discounts in hopes of shedding excess inventory. While chains like Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Gap Inc are thought to have done well, analysts expect much less from the likes of book seller Barnes & Noble Inc and department store chain J. C. Penney Co Inc. Shares of retailers dropped sharply on Wednesday, helping drag broader indexes lower, as investors realized they were likely to be disappointed when companies start to report results in a few weeks’ time.
• The Daily Caller – US holiday retail sales growth weakest since 2008
U.S. shoppers spent cautiously this holiday season, a disappointment for retailers who slashed prices to lure people into stores and now must hope for a post-Christmas burst of spending. Sales of electronics, clothing, jewelry and home goods in the two months before Christmas increased 0.7 percent compared with last year, according to the MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse report. That was below the healthy 3 to 4 percent growth that analysts had expected — and it was the worst year-over-year performance since 2008, when spending shrank sharply during the Great Recession. In 2011, retail sales climbed 4 to 5 percent during November and December, according to ShopperTrak.
This pattern is getting tiresome as we see it year after year.
1. Right before Black Friday all the retail analysts go on financial TV forecasting a spectacular Holiday sales season
3. Retail sales disappoint versus the hype
4. 11 months later all of this is forgotten. Wash, rinse, repeat.