On any kind of absolute basis, retail numbers from Q4 and January were pretty horrible. We knew that. No surprise. The economy sucks. The consumer is broke.
But here and there, there are a few bright spots worth paying attention to. GAP, which reported horrendous January numbers did say that they’ve been able to keep margins healthy, and they even raised their full-year outlook a little bit do to cost reductions.
TJX, which is never a top-name, also said that Q4 numbers will come in at the high end of expectations due to decent margins.
A few other names, like Macy’s and Target came out with numbers today that weren’t total catastrophes.
Now granted, these are just a few examples. But our assumption going into holiday shopping season had been that the sales would be so deep, that even a Wal-Mart wouldn’t be able to make much of a profit from all their doorbusters. Turns out, with aggressive cost cuts, you might still be able to turn a buck or two in retail.