NEW YORK — Retail same-store sales growth came in at about 3.5% during the month of December — at the low end of expectations, observers said Thursday.
Kantar Retail, Columbus, Ohio, calculated a 3.6% sales improvement among 24 retailers it tracked, representing an increase from 3.1% sales growth in November and an increase over last December's 3.2% gain. The results showed consumers following through on intentions to spend more, although among discounters and upscale stores, primarily.
"The holiday results reflect trends we can continue to expect in the new year. We're seeing weak-to-modest growth overall that hides pockets of strength skewed toward upscale retailers and valu--focused retailers that win over shoppers at the expense of their competitors," Frank Badillo, senior economist for Kantar Retail, said in a statement.
The sales results showed food, drug and mass retailers lagging apparel and accessory stores for the five-week period that ended Jan. 1, Kantar said. Among stores selling food, Costco
reported 7% U.S. comps sparked by fuel sales; while Target reported 1.6% sales growth; Walgreens 0.4% and Rite Aid 3.6%.