Census Bureau says retail sales held steady in December
The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for December, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $400.6 billion.
The December figure is up 0.1% from November, and up 6.5% from December 2010.
Total sales for the October through December 2011 period were up 7.0% from the same period a year ago.
In business classification NAICS 444 — building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers — adjusted sales in December were $25.879 billion, up 1.7% from the previous month, and up 1.6% from the same month last year.
The Census Bureau’s report can be found here.
TSCO update reveals strong fourth quarter
Tractor Supply offered an early view of its fourth quarter sales performance, which included a 7.6% same store sales gain.
The Brentwood, Tenn.-based farm and ranch retailer plans to release its full fourth quarter 2011 results Feb. 1, but according to CEO Jim Wright, the strong fourth quarter performance merited an update.
Net sales for the fourth quarter increased 20.1% to $1.24 billion from $1.03 billion in the prior year’s fourth quarter. The fourth quarter included an extra sales week as part of the Company’s 53-week calendar in 2011, which benefited fourth quarter sales by approximately 6.6%. Same-store sales increased 7.6% compared to a 13.1% increase in the prior-year period. The 7.6% increase includes an estimated 110 basis point benefit from one additional comparable sales day in the fourth quarter of 2011 versus last year.
"These results are reflective of the structural improvements we have made to our business in recent years, including a focus on C.U.E. merchandise, improved inventory management and merchandise allocation and regionalization, all of which have continued to reduce our dependence on weather trends," Wright said. "Sales growth in the fourth quarter of 2011 was driven by continued strong transaction count and a year-over-year increase in average ticket, with added tailwinds from both the 53rd week and inflation."
As of Dec. 31, Tractor Supply operated 1,085 stores in 44 states.
SieMatic appoints new leader for U.S., Canada
SieMatic USA, a maker of high-end kitchen cabinetry, has appointed Hans Henkes as its new general manager. Henkes will oversee operations in North America, serving as liaison to SieMatic’s corporate and independent partner showrooms, as well as leading the company’s commercial division.
Henkes, who has been with the company for four years, has a background in international management. He will be responsible for managing SieMatic USA operations and market development throughout the United States and Canada.
Henkes will replace CEO Rolf Willers, who retired this past spring.
Based in Feasterville, Pa., SieMatic manufactures custom cabinets, shelving systems, drawer organizers, decorative hardware and other kitchen-related products. Its parent company is located in Löhne, Germany.