Tags: Storch | holiday | sales | NRF

Ex-Toys R Us CEO Storch: Holiday Weekend Sales Figures Wrong

By    |   Monday, 01 December 2014 12:08 PM

Many analysts were concerned by the National Retail Federation (NRF)'s estimate that holiday sales fell 11 percent during the holiday weekend (Thursday through Sunday) from a year earlier.

But others, including Gerald Storch, former CEO of Toys R Us, contested the data. "I don't believe any way whatsoever sales were down 11 percent over the weekend," Storch, now CEO of Storch Advisors, tells CNBC. "That number is a bad outlier."

However, he admits, "it's not as good as people like."

Storch notes the NRF survey results are unreliable because they are based on consumer polling and self-reporting conducted halfway through the weekend. Consumers estimate what they will spend for the rest of the period.

The survey showed that shoppers spent $380.95 on average during the four days, down 6.4 percent from $407.02 last year. And shoppers spent $159.55 on the Internet, down 10.2 percent from 2013.

The online sales statistic is "a ridiculous piece of data," Storch states, adding that Wal-Mart and Target reported strong online sales for Thanksgiving Day.

Storch maintains that overall sales climbed a bit last weekend, with a double-digit percentage increase on the web and a small single-digit decrease at physical stores.

"I expect a decent Christmas season but not spectacular one," he argues.

"And people are buying that last week before Christmas. I expect a massive week in the week before Christmas."

NRF President Michael Shay offered three possible explanations for the weak numbers. First, it could be "there are a significant number of Americans out there for whom the recession is not yet over," he tells The New York Times.

Second, some Americans may have taken advantage of bargains to shop before Thanksgiving. And finally, some may be holding off for better deals later this month.

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Many analysts were concerned by the National Retail Federation (NRF)'s estimate that holiday sales fell 11 percent during the holiday weekend (Thursday through Sunday) from a year earlier.
Storch, holiday, sales, NRF
294
2014-08-01
Monday, 01 December 2014 12:08 PM
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