Top 5 and Bottom 5 Retailers of Q1
Throughout the month of May many of the nation's major publicly traded retailers released their financial results for the first quarter of 2012. Retailers including Amazon, Chico's FAS, American Eagle Outfitters, Walgreens and Limited Brands were among those experiencing the greatest gains and the most dramatic losses. Overall, the Q1 financial results depict a resilient retail sector, with fewer than one-quarter of surveyed retailers in negative territory. In addition, those retailers that did well did very well, with some seeing increases in the 20% to 30%-plus range. However, for the first time since the recent recession began, one major retailer – JCPenney, which is in the midst of a major revamp of its pricing and merchandising strategies – experienced a decrease of greater than 20%.
RIS News has gathered the net sales revenue results for 40 retailers in a range of verticals, and compared them with the figures for the same quarter in 2011, measuring the percentage of change between these two amounts. Using this figure, RIS has determined the top five and bottom five retailers in terms of percentage revenue change for Q1 2012.
Top 5 Retailers of Q1
Chico's FAS +21.2%
Deckers Outdoor +20.2%
American Eagle Outfitters +18%
Among the winners for Q1 were several familiar names and repeat offenders from Q4 2011, including Amazon, Chico's FAS and Deckers Outdoor. Leading the pack is Amazon with a 34% increase, generated by revenue of $13.18 billion. The Top 5 represent apparel and online retailers, with American Eagle Outfitters hanging on to the Top 5 list with an 18% increase and Rue21 up 18.9%.
"While sales were slightly tougher in April because of the Easter shift and some turn in weather, we maintained our pricing integrity and did not promote more aggressively than we had in prior quarters," said Bob Fisch, CEO for Rue21 on a recent call with investors. "We ended the first quarter with yet another increase in average unit retail."
More than 30 of the 40 retailers recorded reported positive gains for the first quarter. Among those reporting double digit sales increases were Ralph Lauren (14%), Dollar Tree (11.5%), O'Reilly Automotive and Golfsmith (each with 11%), DSW (10.9%) and Abercrombie and Fitch (10%).
Bottom 5 Retailers of Q1
Limited Brands -3.8%
Office Depot -3%
While the Bottom 5 all showed losses compared to Q1 of 2011, only eight retailers in the total group had negative results. Other retailers reporting losses include Sears, Supervalu, Staples and Bon-Ton Stores. Q1's revenue losers only found one repeat offender, JCPenney with a 20.1% decline.
"It is one big year that we have to go through," said Ron Johnson, CEO for JCPenney on a recent call with investors. "And that is going to pave the way for the next era for JCPenney. It is going to pave the way for our products to change, our presentation to change. Our entire go to market strategy will change as we deliver an all new interface to retail, but we have got to go through a year of transformation."
JCPenney COO Mike Kramer also noted on the call, "This is going to be a tough year. Sales are unpredictable when you're going through this profound of a pricing strategy change. And I said the back half of the year is going to be better than the front half of the year. Keep that in mind."
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