Retail Recap: Q1 Comp Sales

The overwhelming majority of retailer Q1 comps are in. Home improvement and discount showed strong gains, department stores struggled and big box was slightly up for the most part. The themes of spending to improve homes, buy big ticket items like cars, purchasing branded merchandise at a discount, and shifting to online players is a reality that is here to stay. 

Department Stores and Off-Price Retailers Comp Sales Growth

The only positive gains thus far of the major department stores is within the off-price space in Marmaxx (Marshall's and TJ Maxx), Ross and Nordstrom Rack. Not all off-price is strong though. Saks Off Fifth posted a negative comp. Unfortunately, the poor Q1 results were coupled with further sales and earnings revisions to the downside. 

*Includes license businesses. Excluding license businesses, comp of -6.1%.

Specialty and Dollar Stores Comp Sales Growth

Q1 comp sales for specialty and dollar stores was a bit mixed. American Eagle continues to flourish as Abercrombie struggles and Aeropostale enters Chapter 11. Best Buy was essentially flat while dollar stores continue to grow market share. On the luxury end, Tiffany saw one of its' worst comp sales numbers this decade.

Big Box and Warehouse Retailers Comp Sales Growth

Home Improvement remains incredibly strong while the big box retailers like Target and Walmart continue to eke out gains whilst heavily investing in ecommerce fulfillment and offsetting minimum wage increases.