Although the recent Thanksgiving weekend festivities have certainly given a boost in both revenue and traffic to major department stores, it probably won't be sufficient to reverse shrinking sales and Wall Street's bearishness. Q3 earnings reports and stock prices from Macy’s, Nordstrom and JCPenney all indicate that these retailers are not hitting the expectations set for them at the beginning of the year. In fact, these three retailers are expected to only grow revenue 1.2% in Q4, according to a USA TODAY analysis of data from S&P Capital.
With these leading department store retailers all showing disappointing results, there are now questions as to whether the sector as a whole is faltering. In comparison to department store earnings, discount stores in the S&P 1500 are expected to grow 10%, while apparel retailers and computer/electronics retailers are expected to grow 3.8% and 2.3% on average, respectively.