Overall holiday shopping season sales numbers have been rolling in, and the news confirms what many retail real estate analysts (including myself) suspected: 2014 holiday sales were strong. Nothing earth-shattering — but plenty good enough to chalk this one up as a win. As we chat about in this installment of Retail Rap, there were some bright and not-so-bright spots (December sales were weaker than expected, for example, and numbers didn’t hit some of the more optimistic overall projections), but the takeaway is that we did see the anticipated increase that the industry was looking for. The aggregate figures are generally all up above 3.5% for the period, and several reports came in closer to 4%. The National Retail Federation announced that sales were up 4% to a total of $616.1 billion — a figure which represents the biggest year over year increase since 2011.
The interesting story here is less about the headline number and more about what we see when we peel back the layers of the onion: the category- and brand-specific dynamics that tell us who were the holiday winners and who were the holiday losers in a few select areas including teen fashion and a mixture of popular department stores.
Join me in this edition of Retail Rap and as always, I’d love to hear what you have to say.