Insane Store Sales

Yesterday we discussed my need to visit the mall this weekend for some confirmation in light of all the Pollyanna consumer talk that’s surfaced this spring.  This morning, we got another dose.

On CNBC, a breathless Dana Telsey guided us through this morning’s March Same Store Sales numbers – against incredibly bad comps, the numbers end up looking miraculous. 

Here are some of the headlines:

Macy’s ($M) up 10.8%

Family Dollar ($FDO) up 11%

Bon Ton Stores ($BONT) up 11%

Gap Stores ($GPS) up 12%

Aeropostale ($ARO) up 19%

Costco ($COST) up 10%

Nordstrom ($JWN) up 16.8%

Saks ($SKS) up 12.7%

These numbers will be bashed and trashed all over the financial media, reasons will be given why they don’t matter – especially in light of this morning’s still-too-high initial jobless claims (up 18,000 to 460k this week). 

The bulls will make the case that this is the pent-up consumer coming out of the woodwork for good, the bears will remind us that Easter weekend came early this year and was wedged into the month’s tally. 

We’ll see what April says.

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