Nomura Securities November Sales Preview: Solid Black Friday, but What Does it Mean for December?

November 28, 2011 9:29 AM EST
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Nomura Securities November Sales Preview: Solid Black Friday, but What Does it Mean for December?

Nomura analyst, Paul Lejuez, said, "Most Sources Report Strong Results on Black Friday: Shopper Trak reported Black Friday sales +6.6% (vs. +0.3% LY) driven by traffic +5.1%, and the National Retail Federation (NRF) reported Black Friday weekend sales +16% (vs. +9.2% LY). comScore reported that online sales were +26% on Black Friday (vs. +9% LY)."

"Our Read: Strong Friday, But Weekend Slowed - While Black Friday drove significant traffic to stores, we believe business tapered off as the weekend progressed (more than usual, perhaps b/c so many stores opened at midnight this year). We wonder if next year you will just be able to have your turkey dinner in the mall."

Black Friday Winners: (1) A&F (NYSE: ANF) and Hollister were traffic winners in the teen space, (2) Gap Brand traffic was strong (though margins likely weak), (3) American Eagle (NYSE: AEO) (driven by lots of inventory), (4) Victoria Secret (NYSE: LTD) (driven by Pink).

Less Successful: (1) Aeropostale (as promos at Hollister and AEO offered more appealing values), (2) Chico's (NYSE: CHS) and Talbots (NYSE: TLB) (women’s names typically slow but especially so TY), (3) Nordstrom (NYSE: JWN) (traffic hurt by lack of promos while Saks (NYSE: SKS), Neiman Marcus and Macy's (NYSE: M) ran significant promos).

"All Eyes on December – Consumers Will Wait For Promos: One thing to keep in mind is that while Black Friday weekend can represent as much as 40% of November sales, December is the biggest month of the quarter (~45-55% of 4Q). The big question is how much shopping was pulled forward into November because consumers were so focused on getting deals (this happened LY). We expect a similar slowdown until we get to mid-Dec as consumers will now wait for new promotions to entice them to buy. As usual, sales are less of a concern than the gross margin sacrifice necessary to capture sales."

"Our Top Picks (Beyond the Weekend): Our top picks are Macy's (NYSE: M) and Limited (NYSE: LTD)."

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