retail sector

The Early Line on Holiday Retail Sales: Up a Merry 5.5%

Shoppers did their part this holiday season, spending more on clothes, jewelry and luxury items than last year, according to new sales tallies from MasterCard SpendingPulse, which tracks purchases by credit card, cash and other payment systems.

Adjusting to Retailing's New Reality: Cautious Shoppers

It means more shoppers are in stores, but they're also spending more carefully. That's not necessarily bad news for the holiday season. It's just that retailers have accepted they'll have to work hard this year to keep registers ringing.

Wal-Mart CEO 'Optimistic' About India Investment Rules

Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) CEO Michael Duke said he is "optimistic" that foreign companies will be allowed to invest in the Indian retail sector. Wal-Mart is hoping that India%u2019s government will loosen restrictions on foreign investment after the trade ministry invited views from the industry, Bloomberg News said.

Costco Earnings Rise on Overseas Strength

Costco Wholesale Corp (COST) reported earnings of 97 cents per diluted share for the quarter ended Aug. 29, compared with 85 cents per diluted share a year earlier. Net sales rose to $23.59 billion, from $21.89 billion a year earlier, the company said in a statement. Comparable sales rose 6% from a year earlier, driven by strong international growth.

Target Conservative in Holiday Season Expectations

Target Corp. (TGT) is conservative in its expectations of holiday spending this year. Target%u2019s CEO Gregg Steinhafel said that sluggish consumer spending an ailing economy may weaken holiday purchases, Reuters reported.

Sears Plans to Open Dozens of Toy Shops in Time for Holidays

Sears will open toys shops in 85 stores in key markets in a bid to attract shoppers in time for the holiday season. "We have a very aggressive plan for growing our toy business," Julia Fitzgerald, chief marketing officer for Sears' toy business told Reuters.

Coca-Cola Enterprises Raises Profit Forecast for 2010

Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) upped its profit forecast for 2010 on strong European demand. The company now expects profit of $1.78 to $1.82 a share, MarketWatch reported. The Atlanta-based company previously forecast profit of $1.73 to $1.77 a share.

Costco Comparable Sales Rose 7% in August

Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST) reported a 7% increase in sales at stores open at least one year in August, boosted by higher gasoline prices and stronger foreign currencies. A survey of analysts by Thomson Reuters forecast an increase of 4.2%

Retail Sales Need a
Back-to-School Cram Session

For retailers, this year's back-to-school shopping season is scraping by with a B-minus at midterm. But with some big weeks still to come, there's hope that this year's results will be positive.

Sara Lee Considering Selling North American Bakery Unit

Sara Lee Corp. (SLE) is considering selling its North American bakery business and has asked its financial advisers to test interest from potential buyers, The Wall Street Journal reported. The company%u2019s advisers are speaking to companies and private equity firms that might be interested in purchasing the unit, which had $2.2 billion in annual sales, The Wall Street Journal reported without naming its sources.

Retailers Aren't Giving Investors Reasons to Buy

Industry sales in June were just slightly below estimates. But the variations among specific retailers were fairly broad, and few companies are offering better guidance for the second quarter, leaving investors little to get excited about.

Family Dollar Stores Quarterly Profit Jumps 19%

Discount retailer Family Dollar Stores, Inc. (FDO) said profit in the third quarter of fiscal 2010 rose 19% from a year earlier. Net income was $104.4 million, or 77 cents per diluted share, for the quarter. Sales for the quarter gained 8.4% to $1.997 billion, with comparable store sales rising 7%, the company said in a statement. The value of the average transaction at the company%u2019s stores was flat.

Retail Stocks Could Be Getting
a Markdown

Merchants are expected to report lukewarm May sales. Chilly weather early and a late Memorial Day will make the month's sales an erratic gauge of retail's recovery -- and leave an opening for bargain-hunting investors.

Giant Wal-Mart
Is Hugely Undervalued

File under "missed opportunity": Wal-Mart is particularly notable now for so far missing out on this year's massive bull rally. But don't make the mistake of thinking that this heavyweight is a has-been.

The six days per week economy

This is the first in a series on economic trends in what I am calling the New Era in the United States, trends that are likely to affect your work,...