We've all heard this holiday shopping season is "the worst in 30 years." Most retailers haven't used language quite that dire, but the jury will soon be in on just how bad it was.
A couple of big names released news today. The biggest retailer on the block, Wal-Mart
The retailer's warehouse shopping unit, Sam's Club, continues to pressure overall results. Its comps are expected to decline, weighing down the namesake's forecasted 3% gain.
Things went from bad to worse in a hurry for Federated Department Stores
It now expects a 4.5% drop for the combined period between Nov. 3 and Jan. 4. Comps were off 7.4% in November and are expected to drop 2.5% in December.
Only J.C. Penney
It's worth noting, too, that Penney's turnaround appears to be the real deal. We can't accuse the retailer of making today's numbers seem better than they are because of weak year-ago comparisons. Same-store sales for December 2001 rose 5.4%. Combined, November and December comps from last year were up 3.7%. Not too shabby.
We'll be watching specialty retailers such as Gap