Many Troy big-box stores post robust holiday season

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published January 25, 2012


If you thought your favorite department store was busier this past Christmas than in recent years, you might be right.

“It was a terrific season,” Ed Nakfoor, spokesman for Somerset Collection, said. “It started with Black Friday and continued through Christmas Eve.”

He noted that the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day was busy also.

While specific numbers for Troy retailers were not available at press time, retailers typically post national Christmas sales numbers on their websites the first week of January.

Macy’s, with two stores in Troy, and Bloomingdales reported that “same store sales” for the five weeks that ended Dec. 31 were up 6.2 percent from the same five weeks in 2010.

Jim Sluzewski, senior vice president of corporate communications and external affairs for Macy’s, explained that same store sales are the most widely watched measure of a retailer’s performance. He said Macy’s, like most retailers, does not break out or report sales for any specific store or market, just national totals.

Nordstrom posted an 8.7 percent increase, and Saks Fifth Avenue sales jumped 5.8 percent from the same five weeks in 2010.

Lower-end department stores posted smaller gains: JC Penney sales increased 0.3 percent, down from a 3.7 percent increase from 2009 to 2010, and Target posted a 1.6 percent increase.

Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and CEO of Target Corp., said December sales were below company expectations. He said growth in grocery and beauty offset softness in electronics, music, movies and books. He added that sales and store traffic were strongest in the week before Christmas.

Kohl’s reported a 0.1 percent decrease this past holiday season. Kevin Mansell, Kohl’s chairman, said December numbers were short of expectations and were adversely affected by sluggish sales in cold weather categories.

Sears Holdings, parent company for Kmart and Sears, released sales figures for eight weeks ending Dec. 25, 2011, that were down 6 percent from the same period in 2010. The company plans to close between 100 and 120 Kmart and Sears stores across the country this year.

On Dec. 27, 2011, Sears Holdings announced that Sears stores in Chesterfield Township and Harper Woods will close. The Oakland Mall store was not included in the list of 80 Sears and Kmart stores slated to close.

Michele Hodges, president of the Troy Chamber of Commerce, said that although she has no hard sales numbers, according to the “parking lot test,” things went very well this past Christmas season based on the volume of cars and diversity of the license plates in shopping center parking lots around Troy.

“We’ve gotten good feedback from retailers,” she said. “There was great energy and excitement surrounding the season.”