There are certain retailers and service providers that everyone knows are doing well in terms of sales. When Apple posts impressive sales figures, no one is surprised. Given the still shaky state of the economy, it’s also unsurprising that business remains brisk at dollar stores. For other companies, it comes as something of a shock that they’re not losing money, let alone that they’re posting strong sales growth.
Yes, it looks like people are shopping again. They’re buying cars, gathering supplies for home-improvement projects, and even making more purchases mall mainstays such as Macy’s and Gap. Thanks to a number of factors, which include the mild winter and perhaps even some genuinely renewed confidence on the behalf of consumers, here are ten companies doing surprisingly good business of late:
Comcast: The pay TV giant was bleeding video subscribers in 2010 and early 2011, averaging a loss of 175,000 customers per quarter. Compared to that, the most recent quarter, in which “only” 17,000 customers cancelled video service, counts as a victory. Overall, Comcast grew in the fourth quarter of 2011, adding 336,000 new broadband and 460,000 new voice customers.
Ford: This American automaker also had a monster February for sales, with roughly 185,000 units sold—representing a 36% rise from January, and a 14% increase from February of 2011.
Gap: Analysts predicted that sales at the apparel chain would drop by 1.4%, which makes the Gap’s 4% rise in sales quite impressive. Warm weather supposedly helped sales, as shoppers got a jump on spring shopping.
Home Depot: The mild winter also gave home-improvement stores a boost. Reuters reported that Home Depot’s sales rose 5.9% during the quarter that ended January 29, due in part to homeowners deciding that the unseasonably warm weather provided a reason to tackle home-improvement projects well before springtime arrived.
Kenneth Cole: After predicting sales growth in the mid-single digits, the fashion company’s sales rose 8.5% in the fourth quarter, reports MarketWatch.
Lowe’s: Like its big-box competitor Home Depot, Lowe’s has benefited from a warm winter, with sales rising 11% in the most recent quarter.
Macy’s & Bloomingdale’s: Revenues at stores opened at least a year grew 5.5% for the four-week period ending February 25. Online sales, which factor in to the overall increase, did some of the heavy lifting, rising 31% at macys.com and bloomingdales.com (which Macy’s also runs).
Nordstrom: Estimates anticipated sales growth of 5.6% for the upscale department store, and actual sales in February rose by 10%.
Target: Sales for the Minneapolis-based chain rose 8% compared to February of 2011.