Wal-Mart, Costco Sales Gain as Shoppers Seek Bargains (Update9)
Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, said sales at stores open at least a year climbed 3.2 percent, beating its forecast and sending the shares higher.
That's not even keeping up with inflation.
Sears Holdings Corp. and Macy's Inc., the two biggest U.S. department-store chains, don't report monthly same-store sales.
They once did. I wonder why they stopped.
June 19, 2006
The Fear at Sears
The bad part, equally Lampertesque: Same-store sales for the Sears brand chain fell 8.4%.
That sounds really bad. What did the management at Sears think though?
Lampert, whose ESL Investments owns 40% of Sears, isn't talking. But in a letter to shareholders recently he called same-store sales a "vastly overrated" measure of a retailer's health. In fact, he argues, it can make them sick.
That must be it. Reporting financial information tends to hurt a company's performance and make them sick. Best to keep quiet no doubt. I'm sure things improved a lot since 2006.
May 5, 2008
Lampert: Sears trying to build customer experience
The Hoffman Estates-based retailer is in the midst of a high-stakes restructuring aimed at reconnecting with customers and reinvigorate slumping same-store sales, which have fallen for the past eight consecutive quarters.
That doesn't make any sense, assuming Lampert was right. Surely the stock must be holding up well though (since same-store sales are "vastly overrated").
Macys and Sears: 1 Year Chart
March 1, 2008
Retailers putting lid on same-store sales data
When asked why Macy's and Sears abandoned their long-standing practice, economist Peter Morici said: "The reason those guys don't want to report same-store sales is because they're in a lot of trouble. They have a broken business model, and they would sorely wish analysts would pay less attention to what they're doing. They're trying to hide."
What's a CEO to do these days if he can't report financial information and he can't hide financial information? That's sure some conundrum!
Ironically, a Wall Street analyst created the same-store sales measure in the early 1970s to try to figure out what was really going on at a failing department store chain.
There's that 1970s word again. Funny how much it pops up these days.
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