(Filed Under Financial and General Interest News). Although retail sales continued to suffer from frugal consumer spending and labor day falling in September rather than August this year, results were slightly up from recent months. Perhaps this is the sign that the worst of the recession is over, as some reports have suggested.
Best-performers were TJX, Inc., who reported a 6 percent jump in net sales and a 3 percent jump in comparable store sales, as well as Kohl's, who cited a 0.2 percent increase in comparable store sales and a 4.8 increase in total sales.
Also looking up was Gap, Inc., who reported an 2 percent drop in comparable store sales, much less than analysts expected, with same-store sales for the company's Old Navy brand jumping 4 percent. Target's overall sales fell a mere 2.9 percent, less than analysts expected, and the company cited a growth in customer traffic.
However, continually weak results for some showed that while some may be recovery, tough times continue for many. Teen retailers, who have struggled in recent months, were particularly hard-hit by this year's back-to-school season, with a 12 percent decrease overall according to Thomas Reuters. Hot Topic, Inc. posting an 8.1 percent drop sales drop for stores opened at least one year. Up until June, the company was consistently citing increases in its monthly and quarterly results due in large part to the success of its “Twilight” license. The Wet Seal, Inc. reported a comparable store sales drop of 11.2 percent. Abercrombie & Fitch—once again one the weakest performers—posted a 29 percent plunge in comparable store sales.
Limited Brands cited a 4 percent drop in comparable store sales, with its Victoria's Secret brand posting a 5 percent decline; however, the company told investors that this drop was in-line with its expectations. Macy's year-to-date sales were down 9.5 percent, and comparable store sales dropped 8.1 percent; below analysts expectations. Luxury department stores Neiman Marcus, Saks, Inc. and Nordstrom, Inc. all posted same-store sales declines; 16.6 percent, 19.6 percent, and 7.6 percent, respectively. Discount department store J.C. Penny posted a 7.9 percent drop.
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