Black Friday Store Traffic Softer Than Prior Years, Says KeyBanc/Pacific Crest (AMZN) (WMT) (BBY) (ULTA) (GPS) (BBBY)

November 28, 2016 9:10 AM EST
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Black Friday winners included (NASDAQ: AMZN), Wal-mart (NYSE: WMT), Best Buy (NYSE: BBY), Ulta Salon (NASDAQ: ULTA), and lululemon athletica (NASDAQ: LULU), according to KeyBanc/Pacific Crest.

Softer results were seen at Gap, Inc. (NYSE: GPS), The Buckle (NYSE: BKE), and Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ: BBBY).

"The KBCM/PCS consumer retail/tech team conducted its annual multi-state store visits and promotional analysis over the Black Friday weekend. Overall, we found store traffic to be somewhat softer than prior years, despite a number of stores and malls opting not to open on Thanksgiving. We attribute much of the weakness to a still tentative consumer as well as a continued shift to e-commerce. Promotions were flat to slightly up vs. [last year]," said analyst Edward Yruma.

"The teams checked stores in nine different states beginning on Thursday and through the weekend. Wal-Mart's addition of holiday helpers improved store level execution and higher doorbuster inventory helped drive solid in-stock levels. Best Buy had long lines, and doorbuster TVs and laptops were claimed within five minutes of store openings. Mall traffic was heavy on Thursday evening and through Friday, but seemed to weaken during the weekend. Traffic at hardlines retailers seemed slightly lower," continued the analyst.

Yruma added, "Promotions began earlier this year, with many retailers running Black Friday promotions a week early. Moreover, retailers like Hollister attempted to pull back promos on Saturday (from 50% off on Friday, 40% off Saturday), only to reinstate Black Friday promos on Sunday. The handbag space was largely 30% off, which was up vs. LY. Promotions in hardlines were similar YOY ... Winners across our coverage include Amazon, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Ulta and lululemon athletica. We noted softer results at Gap, Buckle and Bed Bath & Beyond. In-line included Hasbro and Mattel. Key items included the Michael Kors smartwatch (FOSL), Apple iPad, Apple Watch, NERF, Transformers, Princess (HAS), Echo Dot (AMZN) and Fire TV stick (AMZN)."

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