Stores See Moderate Gains, Questionable Margins
By David Moin
Retailers overcame inflation concerns and a deep early December lull to post midsingle-digit sales increases for the holiday season to date and hope for further gains via clearances in the weeks aheaday 2022.
It wasn’t a blockbuster or a bust. Retailers emerged from the holiday season with midsingle-digit revenue gains, questionable margins and leftover fall and holiday inventories. They now look forward to at least three weeks of intense clearance activity to shed the excess, generate early spring selling and make up for business lost during last week’s lethal “cyclone bomb” from Mother Nature. . . .
Overall, the weather lifted demand for need-based categories as well as coldweather gift-giving categories throughout December leading up to Christmas,” said Evan Gold, executive vice president of Planalytics, a consulting firm that helps retailers plan inventories based on weather forecasts. “The last two weeks of December leading up to Christmas were much colder than last year, helping to drive demand for seasonal categories.
“But looking ahead. January will be warmer than last part, and there will be limited opportunities for clearance of cold-weather categories on a year-over-year basis.” . . .
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