Snow to blame as top US retail results miss targets

A FLURRY of US retail results released yesterday failed to meet market projections, despite gains in same-store sales for several companies.

After heavy snowfall hit the Eastern seaboard just after Christmas, some companies blamed the blizzard for their shortfall, with retailers ranging from department store operator Macy’s and discounter Target to teen clothing store American Eagle Outfitters among those whose results fell far short of Wall Street’s forecasts.

December sales at stores open at least a year for the 28 major retailers tracked by Thomson Reuters rose 3.1 per cent, below forecasts of a 3.4 per cent increase.

Though Macy’s same-store sales rose 3.9 per cent, this was still below estimates of 4.5 per cent. Macy’s chief executive Terry Lundgren said that bad weather was to blame for the deficit. “We did a lot better before the snow hit, no question about it,” he said.

Shopper numbers were well down, with research firm ShopperTrak saying that 26 December, which was the third-biggest shopping day of 2009, would struggle to make the top 10 this year.