Sales per square foot at the three Middle Tennessee malls owned at least in part by CBL & Associates lagged the company's overall growth in 2012. In its recently filed annual report, Chattanooga-based CBL said the average property in its portfolio saw sales per square foot rise almost 6 percent last year. The CoolSprings Galleria posted growth of 2.2 percent while both RiverGate Mall and Governor's Square in Clarksville saw per-square-foot sales dip after posting strong numbers in 2011. Check out all the stats for the area properties here.
The latest survey of the restaurant landscape by Nation's Restaurant News and analyst Larry Miller shows same-store sales in the red for the first time since early 2010. Traffic trends were even worse — and certainly weren't helped by some seriously bad weather — which has some people thinking we're headed back into recession.
Jonathan Maze at Restaurant Finance Monitor says a little more time and some spring data will give us a better picture of where consumer spending and the broader economy might be headed.
Numerous chains reported otherworldly sales this time last year and will have a tough time beating those numbers this time because of a more normalized weather pattern—not to mention other pressures on sales, notably the loss of that 2-percent payroll tax break.
Nissan sold a shade under 100,000 vehicles last month, down more than 6 percent from its record-setting number of a year ago. There were bright spots in the form of the subcompact Versa (pictured) and the Pathfinder SUV, but Nissan lost market share to General Motors and Ford, among others, as total U.S. sales rose 3.7 percent from last February.
SEE ALSO: Nissan sales start 2013 in lower gear
Analyst Mark Montagna at Avondale Partners says Genesco's fourth-quarter earnings report next week could bring with it some bad news as it relates to profit projections for the coming year. Traffic at malls took a big dive in January — Montagna says Genesco's execs may have underestimated the drop six weeks ago — which will hurt sales. On top of that, teens appear to be reining in their spending for the spring, the new payroll tax hike is hurting many other consumers and there isn't a fashion trend emerging to lure back consumers.
As a result, Montagna has lowered his full-year fiscal 2014 forecast to $5.50 per share from $5.60 and trimmed his same-store sales forecast for several of Genesco's divisions by one to two percentage points.
Comps will see less benefit from average selling price gains of flat to 3% vs. FY13 +5%-6%. A bigger issue is the lack of a trend to alter the decelerating comp trend at Lids.
The main reason Montagna says he's keeping his 'outperform' rating on Genesco's stock: Its low valuation, which is just 10 times the consensus forward earnings estimate. Also helping, he says, is his expectation that 30 percent of the coming year's EPS growth will come from stock buybacks.
Shares of the company (Ticker: GCO) are down slightly today to about $58.50. Year to date, it's up about 6 percent.
Analyst Mark Montagna at Avondale Partners says investors in dollar store chains shouldn't get too worked up about the apparently lousy start to February at Wal-Mart. Montagna told clients over the weekend that a recent phone survey by his team showed the recent rise in Social Security taxes having little impact on Dollar General and Family Dollar sales. Where Dollar General (Ticker: DG) could get dinged, though, is by the Internal Revenue Service's delay in processing tax refunds. Because Dollar General's fiscal year ended last month, any sales shifted to February will have gone into fiscal '13.
Friday was progressing nicely for investors in Middle Tennessee's most prominent retail stocks, which like much of the market were buoyed a better-than-expected consumer sentiment report. Then Bloomberg broke the story that Wal-Mart's February-to-date sales have, in the words of one executive, been "a total disaster" and "one of those weeks where your best-prepared plans weren’t good enough to accomplish everything you set out to do."
And poof, there went the good vibes and a lot of people were set to spend the weekend fretting (again) about consumer spending post-tax hikes. Not surprisingly, Dollar General shares suffered the most among the locals, giving up more than 4 percent in the space of a few minutes and sliding some more into the close. But Tractor Supply, Genesco and Cracker Barrel also took their lumps.
For more on Wal-Mart's sales and what they say about the broader economy, check out the discussion on Friday's Options Action on CNBC.
Retail consulting firm AlixPartners says U.S. diners will go out to eat more often this year but will spend less when they do.
January sales of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles rose 2 percent from a year ago, a big drop from the 2012 pace. The company's top-selling Altima sedan saw sales drop 4 percent from early 2012, but the Versa and Sentra compact posted strong gains. Sales of the electric Leaf were down as the company exhausted its 2012 inventory.