The first spending decline on a Black Friday weekend since 2009 reinforced projections for a lackluster holiday, increasing chances retailers will extend the deep discounts already hurting their profit margins.
A gauge of U.S. company credit risk held at about a six-year low after declining for a third month. Credit-default swaps tied to J.C. Penney Co. declined to the lowest level since September as the holiday shopping season got under way.
U.S. retailers expecting to ring up sales in the days after Christmas may have to intensify discounts after a snowstorm slammed the East Coast yesterday, disrupting one of the busiest shopping days of the year.
Dave Murphy , president and chief operating officer of Red Wing Shoe Co., got hearty applause when he announced record earnings for 2010 -- $448 million, up 12 percent from 2009 -- at this year’s shareholder meeting in Red Wing, Minn. But the announcement that got the roughly 150 shareholders out of their seats for a standing ovation was not about dividends or returns. It was the 315 employees the company hired in 2010, bringing head count close to 2,200 today.
Limited Brands Inc. and Macy’s Inc. posted November same-store sales that topped analysts’ estimates as Thanksgiving weekend deals drew record crowds, while stores that missed out on the shopping blitz trailed expectations.
U.S. consumers poured into the malls and took to the Web during Thanksgiving weekend, spending a record $52.4 billion at a pace that may be hard to sustain as the holiday shopping season gets under way.