Weak consumer demand continues to pressure retailers sales

Many retailers again saw decline in same-store sales in August although better than the decline from July.  This is the 12th month that the industry has witnessed a drop in retailer sales.  Only Target, Gap and Kohl’s surpassed analyst expectations.

From the WSJ:

August results were also hurt by the late Labor Day holiday, meaning some schools started sessions later than last year. Another likely impact was the strong rebound in August U.S. auto sales on the “Cash for Clunkers” program. It was seen as steering some consumers away from retailers to showrooms.

The numbers:

  • Abercrombie & Fitch led the decline with 29% drop in same-store sales while its overall sales was lower by 23%, benefiting competitor American Eagle, which dropped only 7%, better than the 8.5% expected by analysts.  Aerospotale was the winner gaining 9% last month.
  • Costco was better with flat sales from last month.
  • Retailers JC Penney and Macy’s each lost another 8% but Saks was the biggest loser among the department stores after almost 20% of lower sales.
  • Discount stores Kohl’s and Ross Stores still saw sales higher by 0.2% and 6%, respectively; Target and Gap reported better-than-expected 2.9% and 3% declines, respectively.
  • Sales of Limited Brands, owner of Victoria’s Secret, declined by 4% versus expectations of 5.5%

Source: RealTime Economics, WSJ, Bloomberg

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