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4 Retailers Scoring Decent Sales Numbers in the Holiday Season

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The 2021 holiday season turned out to be a blissful one as consumers filled their shopping carts. Even supply chain challenges, rising prices and the ongoing pandemic could not dampen the fervor of the season. No doubt, retailers seemed to have addressed logistics and inventory issues well to meet the festive demand efficiently, be it offline or online. Retailers replenished shelves with in-demand merchandise and ramped-up investments in digitization.

Companies stepped up omni-channel capabilities and adopted ways to enhance delivery and payment systems. To this end, companies’ same-day and last-mile delivery services, and buy online and pick-up-in-store facilities bode well. In fact, companies’ initiatives to expand delivery options and contactless payment solutions have been a boon amid the pandemic. Customers purchased everything they needed, be it clothing and clothing accessories, jewelry, sporting goods, furniture and home furnishings, and electronics.

A report by National Retail Federation indicates that holiday retail sales, excluding automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants, increased 14.1% year over year to $886.7 billion. The retail trade group also informed that online and other non-store sales grew 11.3% to $218.9 billion during the festive season, defined as Nov 1 through Dec 31.

Per Mastercard SpendingPulse, holiday retail sales, excluding automotive — from Nov 1 through Dec 24 — increased 8.5% year over year. The metric rose 10.7% compared with the same period in 2019. While in-store sales jumped 8.1% year over year, online sales surged 11% and accounted for approximately 20.9% of overall retail sales, up from about 20.6% in 2020 and 14.6% in 2019.

4 Retailers Raising the Toast

Five Below, Inc. FIVE posted sturdy holiday sales results despite a challenging supply chain backdrop. The company efficiently managed the product flow and remained proactive in meeting consumer demand. Five Below highlighted that net sales for the holiday period — from Oct 31, 2021, through Jan 1, 2022 — surged 20.6% to $870.9 million from $722.3 million reported in the comparable nine-week period from Nov 1, 2020, through Jan 2, 2021. Markedly, comparable sales for the holiday shopping season rose 7.7% on top of a record 10.1% increase registered last year.

This extreme-value retailer for tweens, teens and beyond anticipates fourth-quarter fiscal 2021 net sales between $985 million and $1,005 million. This suggests an improvement of 17.1% at the high end of the range. Five Below forecast comparable sales increase of 2-4%. For fiscal 2021, the company envisions net sales in the band of $2,837 million to $2,857 million. This indicates growth of 45.6% at the high end of the range. The company expects a 30% jump in comparable sales.

Despite tough retail conditions, Zumiez Inc. ZUMZ, a leading specialty retailer of apparel, footwear, accessories and hardgoods, performed well during the holiday season. We note that total net sales rose 9% for the nine-week period ended Jan 1, 2022 compared with the nine-week period ended Jan 2, 2021. For the same period, the company reported comparable sales growth of 6%. Zumiez’s stores were opened nearly 97% of the available days during the said period in 2021, compared to 96% in the comparable period of 2020.

Region-wise, North America net sales rose 5.1%, while Other international net sales, comprising Europe and Australia, surged 36.6% despite continued closures and headwinds related to the ongoing pandemic. In the period under review, Zumiez’s Men’s category registered the largest comparable sales growth, followed by Footwear, Accessories and Women’s. Management reaffirmed fiscal 2021 net sales year-over-year growth projection of just over 20%.

Signet Jewelers Limited SIG sparkled this holiday season. Differentiated product assortment, targeted marketing and advanced connected-commerce capabilities drove the performance. Signet’s preliminary total sales for the nine-week period ended Jan 1, 2022, increased 30.4% year over year to $2.4 billion. Preliminary same-store sales rose 25.2% year over year and 35.1% on a two-year basis. E-commerce sales were up $52.1 million year over year and brick and mortar sales were up $499.9 million. Sales in North America improved 30.2% year over year to $2.2 billion, while revenues at the International segment increased 30.5% to $144 million.

Backed by an impressive holiday performance, Signet raised fourth-quarter and fiscal 2022 view. Management now envisions total revenues of $2.77 billion and same-store sales of 22% in the fourth quarter. Management had earlier guided revenues of $2.40-$2.48 billion and same-store sales of 6-9%. For fiscal 2022, Signet expects total revenues of $7.78 billion, up from $7.41-$7.49 billion projected earlier. It predicts same-store sales of 48%, higher than the prior view of 41-43%.

Tilly’s, Inc. TLYS reported stellar holiday sales numbers. Favorable market dynamics, a compelling merchandise assortment, and a shift in consumers’ preference for shopping at stores contributed to the results. The company highlighted that total net sales jumped 16.5% to $173.3 million during the holiday shopping period — the nine-week period ended Jan 1, 2022 — compared with $148.7 million for last year’s nine-week period ended Jan 2, 2021. Impressively, total comparable net sales, including physical stores and e-commerce, rose 14.1% for the 2021 holiday period compared with an increase of 2.7% in the year-ago period.

Taking into account the robust performance in the holiday period as well as historical trends, Tilly’s anticipates posting the most profitable fourth quarter since becoming a public company. This specialty retailer of casual apparel, footwear and accessories expects to deliver the most profitable fiscal year on record. Tilly’s envisions fourth-quarter fiscal 2021 net sales between $203 million and $205 million and earnings in the range of 39-42 cents a share.


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