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Tiffany Montgomery
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November weaker than expected for some stores

By Tiffany Montgomery
December 03, 2009 5:55 AM

November sales were weaker than expected for many retailers. While several companies said sales over Thanksgiving weekend were strong, sales during the first three weeks of November were weaker than expected.

Some shoppers are also appear to be buying gifts later this year.

The International Council of Shopping Centers reported this week that shoppers it surveyed had completed an average of 42.2 percent of their shopping through the end of November compared with 48.3 percent during the same week of 2008. The trade group said this hurt sales in November, but will help December numbers.

Here's a look at how a wide range of retailers performed. Zumiez reported results yesterday and Pacific Sunwear no longer reports monthly sales.

Teen retailers

The Buckle

The Buckle's men's business has softened, but its women's business continues to shine.

Same store sales: up 1.4%

Total men's sales: down 5.5%

Strong men's categories: denim

Total women's sales: up 16%, accounting for 62% of sales.

Strong women's categories: denim, woven and knit tops, sweaters, accessories, and footwear.

Total accessories sales: up 5%

Footwear: up 10%

HollisterAbercrombie and Fitch

The company is still struggling, though the rate of decline has improved from earlier in the year.

Total company same-store sales: down 17%

Hollister: down 23%

Abercrombie & Fitch stores: down 11%

Abercrombie: down 16%

Ruehl: down 15%

Hot Topic

Total same-store sales: down 11.7%

Hot Topic: down 14.5%

Torrid: up 1.6%

American Apparel

Same-stores sales: down 11%


The low-cost teen retailer has been a top performer, but sales came in under analyst estimates.

November same-stores sales: up 7%

Aeropostale reported a strong third quarter earlier this week, however.

Q3 total sales: up 18% to $567.8 million

Q3 same-store sales: up 7%

Net income: up 47% to $62.6 million

(Above: Aeropostale discounted heavily over Thanksgiving weekend.)

American Eagle Outfitters

The company said traffic in November was “choppy” though sales over Thanksgiving weekend were positive.

Total same-stores sales: down 2%

The Gap

Old Navy’s turnaround continues.

Total same-store sales: flat

Gap North America: down 4%

Banana Republic: down 4%

Old Navy: up 6%

International: down 5%

Department stores


The company said sales were disappointing over Thanksgiving weekend and it believes shifting some events to December this year hurt sales. Also, warm weather in November dampened sales of coats, sweaters and other winter apparel.

Same-store sales: down 6.1%


Same-store sales: up 2.2%

Strong categories: women’s high end shoes, juniors shoes, women’s better apparel and kids shoes.

Strong regions: South, Midwest, Mid-Atlantic. Southern California posted results below average but Northern California posted results slightly above average.

Saks Fifth AvenueSaks Fifth Avenue

The luxury retailer had a rough month and was up against a tough comparison. Last year in the November, the company shocked the fashion world by dramatically discounting designer goods, which boosted sales.

Same-store sales: down 26.1%

Mid-tier and discount chains

JC Penney

The company met its same store sales estimates. It said it had strong sales on Black Friday but weaker sales leading up to Thanksgiving.

Same-store sales: down 5.9 %

Strong categories: women's apparel, accessories, shoes.

Weak categories: children’s.

Best region: Southwest.

Worst region: Southeast


The company said a 10% average increase in transactions per store proves its value message is working and that it is gaining market share.

Same-store sales: up 3.3%

Best region: Southwest

Best category: home


Target's results were weaker than expected. The company said the first three weeks of November were weak while Thanksgiving weekend sales were better than planned.

Same-store sales: down 1.5 %


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