Discount chains prevail, apparel suffers

Discount retail chains were the big winners for the holiday season, while apparel stores suffered. In the first 27 days of December, discounters were headed for the best monthly sales gain in more than two years and revenue rose 8.3 percent.

The gains were primarily driven by increased shopping visits, reported Bloomberg. But that did not stop them from spending cautiously, and spending less of holiday budgets on clothing.

"The winners for December were clearly discount stores and wholesale clubs," said Chen Grazutis, a retail analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence. Grazutis pointed out that Target (NYSE:TGT) had a nice rebound after the data breach of 2013. On Thanksgiving Day, the number of orders and sales at Target increased more than 40 percent over last year, making it the retailer's biggest online sales day ever. The most growth in traffic and sales came from mobile.

According to Craig Johnson, president of Customer Growth Partners, in 2000, 5 percent of an average U.S. household budget went to clothing, but that number has dropped to 2.8 percent.

Teen apparel retailers seemed to take some of the biggest hits this holiday season, forcing two chains, Delia's and Deb Shops, to file for bankruptcy and Wet Seal (NASDAQ:WTSL) to announce it would shutter 338 stores, two-thirds of all locations.

For more:
-See this Bloomberg article

Related stories:
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Wet Seal taps PacSun exec as executive VP and chief merchandising officer
Wet Seal to close Arden B, expand plus-size juniors
Wet Seal adds mobile payments with a teenage twist
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