The worst holiday shopping season in four decades has retailers in quite a bind.
Macy's lowered its earnings outlook this morning and reported that same-store sales in November and December dropped 7.5 percent. It also announced that it's closing 11 underperforming stores (here's the list). The good news is massive clearance sales, but if you live in certain areas of Nashville, Colorado Springs, and St. Louis, you'll have to find a new department store. The company says the closings are part of a "normal pruning process."
Investors took the news well, as the company's stock was up more than 2 percent at mid-morning.
Meanwhile, market watchers expected Wal-Mart to fare relatively well in December, as consumers traded down. The company posted a 1 percent sales gain, but that was less than the 2.8 increase expected by analysts. It also cut its fourth-quarter outlook.
Here's a list of more dismal retail-sales data, courtesy of The Big Picture.
In related news, Family Dollar's sees a growth opportunity in--get ready for this--food stamps. Nearly all of the company's 6,600 stores will accept them by the end of the year.