Let me start off by stating that same-store sales mean a LOT if you're interested in buying a retailer's stock. But if one wants to gauge Consumer Spending, it means very, very little. Having said that, here's a bit from CNN Money..... Holiday's winners and losers "NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- As the curtain lifts on 2011, the nation's retailers are celebrating one of the most robust holiday sales periods that they've had in years. "The headline on the holidays is that it will be the best year for retailers in at least five years and possibly in more than a decade," said Craig Johnson, president of retail consulting group Customer Growth Partners. On Thursday, we'll hear directly from merchants just how well consumers treated them in the crucial December sales race, when sellers report their same-store sales for the month. Same-store sales, or sales at stores open at least a year, are a key measure of a retailer's performance" Holiday 2010's retail winners and losers - Jan. 5, 2011 "The Best in 5 years?!!!" Really? Well, yes if you're using same-store sales metrics. But how many stores have closed over the past 5 years? The answer is THOUSANDS OF STORES HAVE CLOSED during this same period! If you read through the article, it actually lies by telling the reader; "This is a big deal for both retailers and the economy. For retailers, year-end holiday sales can account for as much as 50% of their sales and profits for the full year. Since consumer spending also fuels more than two-thirds of the economy, the hope is that a pick-up in spending means that Americans are feeling more secure about their jobs and spending ability." Finally, the only way to measure consumer spending to look at total revenues. If Macy's same-store sales grew 5% while they closed 10% of their stores, their total revenue is certainly NOT up 5%. As a matter of fact, it may even be down...but they don't want the public to know that.