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Sales at core stores fell 17 percent in January, according to data from ActionWatch.
The ActionWatch retail panel includes approximately 200 stores. The same-store sales panel includes approximately 100 of those stores that have been in the panel for a year and thus can provide year-over-year comparison data.
"Unfortunately, we are not surprised that January was down double digits. The categories tracked by ActionWatch were down 17% in January compared to the prior year. Apparel and Accessories fared the worst although there were a couple bright spots worth mentioning.
"Men's/boys' boardshorts were only down 1.1% while dresses were only down by 1.2%. Also, although skate hardgoods were down double digits in January, surf hardgoods actually showed a sales revenue increase of almost 3% compared to January 2008."
"Also of note in the chart below is the increase in sales in female footwear. The increase was largely due to higher sales of 'Other Footwear' which includes footwear like boots and slippers. This category is mostly sales of Ugg boots, which seem to have been delayed a bit this year. The peak for Ugg boots in the ActionWatch panel is December with a strong upswing in the two preceding months. However, sales were quite a bit lower in the fall of 2008, but retailers apparently made up for that a little bit of that with increased January sales. The overall volume of January is much smaller than December, however."