Retail Sales Report Analysis: Q3 2015

% Based on Comparable Store Sales

Best Buy: Same-store sales +0.5%
Sales were hurt by declining purchases of mobile phones, tablets, cameras, TV and computers. Anticipation is high for fall/holiday selling of the Apple watch and a customer service robot named Chloe.

Big Lots: Same-store sales +2.6%
Strong sales as a result of new merchandising and marketing strategies and in-store execution. Inventory was kept lean and they are well positioned for 4th quarter selling season.

Costco: Same-store sales +2%
The strongest sales were sporting goods, hardware, automotive and home furnishings. Within the food section, deli brands and meat did well. The company’s private label brands contributed strongly to the bottom line of sales. 25 new stores were opened, and they continue to increase membership to the store.

CVS: Same-store sales +1.7%
Company purchased the pharmaceutical distributor Omnicare, which will help in dispensing drugs to assisted living/nursing homes which will help to expand the purchase of medicines. Company continues to promote its more than 900 walk in clinics called Minute Clinics which have a customer satisfaction rate of 95%.

Dick’s Sporting Goods: Same-store sales +0.4% (including Golf Galaxy)
Positive sales were a reflection of strong back to school selling. Strength in athletic footwear, accessories and athletic apparel was moderated by the impact of record warm weather in more seasonal categories. During 3rd quarter, 27 new DSGs stores opened and 7 new Field and Stream stores were launched.

Dollar General: Same-store sales +2.3%
Sales were driven by increases in both customer traffic and average transactional value. Consumables contributed to sales and were driven by candy, snacks, tobacco and perishables. Growth also came from seasonal items, sundries, hardware, housewares and women’s clothing. Store continues to keep a tight lid on costs by adopting “zero based budgeting”, where the company plans expenses for a period from scratch instead of basing their budgets on previous data.

Home Depot: Same-store sales +7.3% (U.S. stores)
Store-wide strong sales are a result of continuing improvement in the housing market and solid operational performance. Home price appreciation and housing turnovers are key drivers of growth .Continued demand for products by DIY and Professional/Trade customers. In addition, there was a broad based growth across all state geographies and product categories.

J.C. Penney: Same-store sales +6.4%
Store has been in turnaround capacity, by making sure items are in stock, which has brought back core buying customers and overall traffic. Stores were open on Thanksgiving, but only during afternoon to kick off holiday sales. Concern about large inventory stockpiles going into holiday season, so strong discounts will start during 4th quarter. Private Brands, which costs less and account for 51% of sales are a huge area of opportunity to increase overall margins.

Kmart: Same store sales -7.5%
Decline in sales in apparel, grocery, household, drugstores and consumer electronics. Strong sales were for home appliances and mattresses. Moving ahead, goal is to focus on product offerings and promotions to enhance member engagement and best shopping experience possible throughout the holiday period.

Kohl’s: Same-store sales +1.0%
Strong sales were a result of good back to school season and more on-trend products such as national athletic gear from Nike, New Balance and Puma. Company spruced up stores with a cleaner look, personalized marketing to various target groups and expanded the targeted marketing to online operations.

Kroger: Same store sales +0.4%
Lower costs of fuel and strong cost controls contributed to increased sales within stores currently- 2,620 supermarkets throughout the nation. Recently merged with Roundy’s grocery stores. During 2015, Kroger had 151 new stores and 101 new pharmacies in new markets such as Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison and Northern Wisc.

Lowe’s: Same-store sales +4.6%
Lowe’s expects to add on 15 to 20 home improvement and hardware stores for 2016. Growth in sales due to strong sales of existing homes (4.7%) and in turn home improvement by new home owners. In addition new housing starts climbed 6.5%.

Macy’s: Same-store sales -3.9%
Factors contributing to low sales were tepid spending, slow down of buying by international tourists (strong dollar exchange), warm weather (less buying of winter clothing) and a competitive environment against JCP, and Amazon. However categories such as soft home, mattresses, and active wear were strong. In addition, the new Backstage Stores (within the main stores) are projected to increase sales along with the self-standing Blue Mercury beauty stores. In 2015, 5 new Backstage Off Price stores will open in NYC.

Michael’s: Same-store sales +1.5%
Adult coloring books continue to be a big seller. A partnership with online Darby Smart occurred with expected results to increase online sales. Michael’s opened 9 new stores during 2015. Rainbow Loom products continue to be the best seller.

Nordstrom: Same-store sales +0.9%
A warmer than usual fall resulted in winter clothing not selling as well. In addition, foot traffic to malls has been declining during the past quarters. The store also notes that weak tourism, focus on experiences/entertainment, consumers purchasing big ticket items (autos/furniture and the Amazon have affected overall store sales.

Sears: Same-store sales -9.6%
Sales decline resulted from loss of revenue in apparel, lawn/ garden, tools and Sears Auto Centers and consumer electronics. Increased sales were in mattresses. Looking ahead, goal is to focus on product offerings and promotions. In addition, a number of experienced leaders have been hired to drive new business.

Staples: Same-store sales -2%
Closed 18 stores within North America. Sales declined in mobility, business machines, technology accessories, ink and toner. Sales were increased for products such as office supplies, copy and print and furniture.

Target: Same-store sales: +1.9%
Store is concentrating on trendier products and better in-store displays, and inspirational table settings. In particular it has been pushing sales in 5 categories- baby, apparel, accessories, wellness and kids- sales in these areas grew 2½ times as fast than the company’s average sales. Store traffic increased 1.4%. Target agreed to sell its pharmacy section to CVS health by early next year.

TJX companies (Marshalls, Home Goods, TJMaxx): Same-store sales +3%
Strong consumer traffic, apparel accessories and home merchandise categories led to sales doing well. In addition, the company’s strategy to adjust its pricing and merchandise mix to offer bargain deals to shoppers helped to increase traffic, units sold and merchandise margins.

Walgreens: Same-store sales +6.4%
A new CEO – Stefano Pessina was installed with the board direction/strategy of acquiring other companies. The integration of Walgreens and Boots Alliance has worked well. Prescriptions/Immunizations (226 million) reflected a 3.8 percent increase over last year. Walgreens has announced a buyout of Rite Aid.

Walmart: Same-store sales +1.5%
Overall traffic to store increased by 1.7% and customer experience continue to strengthen. Earnings have been under pressure from staff salary increases/hourly wage increases. However the company states that those investments have contributed to better customer service and sales. Groceries account for more than half of U.S. sales. In 3Q increases in sales were from groceries, home, health and apparel areas.
Sources:,,,,,, company reports


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