Luxury Department Stores Continue To Face Tough Times
More bad news for the U.S. luxury department stores. WWD has the list of sales figures for December and they aren't pretty. Same-store sales declined 5.4 percent on average for the department store sector with a total of 6.5 percent lost year over year. The luxury retailers were hit hardest, Nordstrom, down 4 percent, Neiman Marcus down 2.9 percent, Macy's fell 7.9 percent and Sak's eked out a .08 percent gain. Out of the 40 retailers WWD tracked, 27 reported negative same-stores sales for the month. The mid-range departments stores were hit too, J.C. Penney fell 7.9 percent and Kohl's declined 0.7 percent. Discount stores did better with Wal-Mart up 2.6 percent and Target up 5 percent. Specialty stores dipped too (3 percent) but overall it was the department stores that suffered the most with a 6.3 percent decline overall. I wonder if the fact that the Christmas holiday season has turned into more of a gadget frenzy and less of a clothing holiday is partly behind this or if this is just more fall out as the masstige market, once fueled by the aspirational shopper, continues to decline.