aNb Media News, January 11, 2011

TRU Sales Up Domestically

Toys “R” Us, Inc., announced its total sales and comparable store sales for the month of December and the 2010 holiday season.

For the month of December, the U.S. domestic segment’s total sales grew by 5.4 percent, driven by new stores including Toys “R” Us Express locations and comparable store sales growth of 2.2 percent. For the nine-week holiday season, the domestic segment’s total sales grew 5.3 percent, also including a comparable store sales increase of 2.2 percent. Online sales growth (which is included in comparable store sales) was particularly strong during the holiday season.

“We are pleased that we have now delivered five consecutive years of positive comparable store sales growth in the U.S. during the month of December,” said Jerry Storch, chairman and CEO, Toys “R” Us, Inc., in a statement. “Throughout the season, we demonstrated our industry-leading position in the toy category by providing a broad assortment of unique and hot products, a differentiated shopping experience, and knowledgeable customer service.”

In the international segment, total sales declined by 3.6 percent in the month of December, reflecting a comparable store sales decline of 5.0 percent, partially offset by sales from new locations. For the nine-week holiday season, the international segment’s total sales declined 3.4 percent, including a comparable store sales decline of 4.7 percent. International total sales performance for the holiday season varied by country, driven by declines in the UK and Spain, partially offset by positive growth in Canada and Japan.

Across the entire company, the core toy and learning categories generated the strongest total sales growth. Conversely, the entertainment category, which includes videogame hardware and software, was the weakest as it continued to experience sales declines.

Target Sales Up, Yet Below Expectations

Target Corporation reported that its net retail sales for the five weeks ended January 1, 2011, were up 1.4 percent compared with the five weeks ended January 2, 2010. On this same basis, December comparable-store sales increased 0.9 percent.

“December sales were below expectations, as strength in grocery and apparel was offset by softness in electronics, toys, and some home categories,” said Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and CEO of Target Corporation, in a statement. “Sales in some key gift-giving categories moved earlier into the holiday season, and lower margin items drove a higher portion of sales than expected. Our 5 percent REDcard Rewards program is delivering the results we expected, and we’re confident that we will continue to generate profitable growth, even while consumer buying patterns exhibit volatility across categories and over time.”

JCPenney Sales Up, Jewelry and Women’s Accessories Strongest

JCPenney reported that its comparable store sales for the five-week period ended January 1, 2011, increased 3.7 percent over last year with fine jewelry and women’s accessories reporting the strongest results. Geographically, the best performing regions were the southeast and northeast
regions. Total company sales in December increased 2.3 percent.

Top selling items included JCPenney’s selection of fashion watches and sterling silver jewelry, St. John’s Bay, and Liz Claiborne cold weather merchandise. Internet sales through also posted strong growth in December, with significant increases in traffic and orders for the key holiday shopping periods of the week after Thanksgiving and the week before Christmas.

Macy’s Sales Up, Expanding Online Business

Macy’s, Inc., reported a sales increase of 4.5 percent for the five weeks ended January 1, 2011, compared with the five weeks ended January. 2, 2010. On a same-store basis, Macy’s, Inc., sales were up 3.9 percent in December. Same-store sales for the combined November/December holiday selling period were up 4.6 percent.

“Sales in December were strong at both Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, consistent with our high expectations, despite snowstorms that disrupted after-Christmas shopping along the East Coast,” said Terry J. Lundgren, chairman, president and CEO of Macy’s, Inc., in a statement. “While value remains important to customers in this uncertain economic environment, fashion, newness, and unique gift items were drivers of our business throughout this holiday season.”

Online sales ( and combined) were up 28.4 percent in December, and 28.8 percent in 2010 year-to-date, compared with the same periods in 2009. (Online sales are included in the same-store sales calculation for Macy’s, Inc.)

Macy’s recently announced plans to expand the technology, merchandising, marketing and creative functions of its e-commerce organization, as well as to build a major new online fulfillment center.

Kohl’s Sales Up, Strongest in Southeast

Kohl’s reported that total sales for the five-week period ended January 1, 2011, increased 5.9 percent over the five-week period ended January 2, 2010. On a comparable store basis, December sales increased 3.9 percent. Year to date, total sales increased 7.2 percent and comparable store sales increased 4.6 percent.

“We are pleased with our December comp sales performance, especially given the strong performance in December 2009,” said Kevin Mansell, Kohl’s chairman, president and CEO, in a statement. “The Southeast region again reported the strongest comp sales for the month, followed by the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions. We are also pleased with our e-commerce business, as significant investments in IT and distribution helped us achieve a 66 percent increase in sales this month. All lines of business reported positive comparable store sales for the month. Footwear, men’s, and accessories outperformed the company on a comparable store sales basis.”

UNO Turns 40

On 1/11/11 (note all the ones—that’s today!) Mattel is celebrating the 40th anniversary of UNO by offering an UNO-for-Uno promotion. A limited-edition UNO Retro Deck and the UNO iPhone app will be available for just $1 today.

Here are some facts about UNO:

  • UNO was created by a barber shop owner in Ohio in 1971
  • More than half a billion UNO cards are printed each year
  • One UNO card game is sold every three seconds
  • There are 108 UNO cards in each deck of cards, 19 cards of each color, and eight of each “action” card.

TRU Launches Gund’s Squaredy Cats

Gund will launch Squaredy Cats plush exclusively at Toys “R” Us in February. The license with Squaredy Cats, whose images offer fun and whimsical statements of courage and pride, targets the tween collectible market.

Gund’s initial line at Toys “R” Us will feature eight plush cats, including Cleo (Not Squared to Be Wild), Giggles (Not Squared to Be Silly), Shimmer (Not Squared to Sparkle), Midnight (Not Squared of the Dark), and Cheeri (Not Squared to Show Spirit).

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