Come to the table with confidence

Black Friday Was Certainly in the "Black"

Black Friday 2011
Apparel & Footwear and Retailing Results
Apparel & Footwear: Athletic Footwear Continued to Impress &
Benefits from Earlier Openings
Black Friday Store Checks — We visited several sporting goods, specialty
athletic, apparel, and accessory retailers the morning of Black Friday in New York
City; Long Island, NY; and New Jersey to assess holiday offerings, promos, and
store traffic. We believe earlier openings at other stores had a positive halo effect
on retailers we checked. We observed strongest traffic at Dick's Sporting Goods,
Foot Locker, and Finish Line, which may drive upside to comps, margins, and
valuations, in our view. Weaker traffic at accessory stores (Vera Bradley and
Fossil), as customers likely focused on electronics in the a.m. Our Apparel/
Footwear Holiday View: Buy Finish Line and Foot Locker.
Retailing — Broadlines: Black Friday Surveys Point to the Strongest
Black Friday Results in Years
We Believe Black Friday Sales Were Up Year over Year — This view is based
on discussions with industry contacts and our own observations. Retailers
opened their doors earlier than ever and consumers responded by coming out in
full force and generating a record amount of sales (ShopperTrak estimates
$11.4B). In addition, shoppers continued to shop over Black Friday weekend
spending an estimated $52.4B according to the National Retail Federation. We
are raising our November same-store sales (SSS) estimate for Kohl’s and Saks,
and we are lowering our November SSS estimate for Target. We believe Kohl’s
and Wal-Mart’s strong preparation, early openings, and disciplined execution
helped them gain share of consumers’ limited budgets. We also believe that Saks
executed very well and that the new cardholder offer Friday afternoon & Saturday
drove additional store traffic. Further, we observed strong traffic trends at Macy’s,
which gives us increased confidence in our +3 to 5% November SSS estimate.
 
Many retailers are enjoying the early signs that people have "swallowed" the pill of living in the new economic situation and are once again spending some money!