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Apparel Store Sales Slow in June

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After rebounding in May from April’s lackluster performance, total and same-store sales at the top apparel retail chains that still report on a monthly basis fell slightly in June, confirming suspicions that consumers remain cautious about the economy.
As shown in the chart below, total sales at the top 14 apparel retail companies increased a collective 3.3% in June, a disappointment compared to the 4.3% increase of the prior month.
Sales at stores open at least a year, or same-store sales, rose a collective 2.6%, well above April’s 1.4% rise but lower than May’s 4.1% jump.
Unseasonably warm weather earlier in the season made comparisons to last year difficult. In 2011, weather remained cool until June, when sudden warm weather unleashed pent-up demand — and wallets – on summer merchandise.

june store sales 1

Teen retailer Zumiez skated to the front of the pack for the seventh straight month with a better-than-expected 17.9% increase in total sales and an 8.2% same-store sales rise, the best in the bunch. However, Buckle, another teen favorite, missed estimates for the third straight month by posting drops of .3% in total sales and 2.5% in comps — the first decline in two and a half years. Wet Seal also missed estimates, with total and same-store sales falling by 7.4% and 9%, respectively, making this retailer the worst performer in the group for the third straight month.
Ross Stores and TJX were among the biggest total sales gainers for the month, as consumers continue to seek out quality at a price and these retailers manage to offer fresh, compelling merchandise assortments. Ross saw total sales climb 11.7% to $886 million for the month, while TJX also beat expectations with a total sales gain of 9.5%. Both off-pricers saw comps advance 7%.
Luxury merchants Nordstrom and Saks were the top performing department stores, with total sales growth of 12.2% and 6.0%, and comps up 8.1% and 6.0%, respectively. Both beat expectations.
Macy’s performance, on the other hand, fell short of expectations, with total and comp sales both up by .8% and 1.2%, respectively. The company blamed the shortfall on unfavorable macroeconomic conditions and the disruptive renovation going on at the New York flagship store. However, it could also be the fact that the share gain momentum this retailer has been enjoying at the expense of JCPenney, Kohl’s, and regional department store chains might finally be slowing.
A 2.6% decline in total sales and 4.2% drop in comps at Kohl’s were similar to last month’s performance. Total sales at Gap rose by only 2.2%, and comps were flat.
Limited Brands continues to impress with a same-store sales gain of 7%, though total sales rose only due to the divesting of its third-party sourcing business and the closing of several La Senza doors.
Target, the only discounter still reporting on a monthly basis, missed its estimates, with total sales up by 2.6% and comps ahead 2.1%.

% Total vs LY

$

Millions

% Comps vs LY

Company

June

FYTD

June

FYTD

June

FYTD

Zumiez

17.9

7.8

51

232

8.2

12.0

Nordstrom

12.2

12.7

1,040

4,450

8.1

7.8

Ross

11.7

13.0

886

3,989

7.0

8.0

TJX

9.5

9.9

2,300

10,000

7.0

7.0

Saks

6.0

4.5

274

1,234

6.0

4.9

Stage Stores

5.2

6.5

141

637

3.3

3.8

Target Corp

2.6

5.1

6,419

27,994

2.1

4.4

Gap

2.2

4.7

1,410

6,000

0.0

3.0

Macy’s

0.8

3.4

2,412

10,569

1.2

3.6

Steinmart

0.2

0.7

105

510

-0.5

0.2

Buckle

-0.3

6.5

79

413

-2.5

4.2

Limited

-0.3

-2.8

1,077

3,903

7.0

7.0

The Bon Ton

-1.0

-0.9

238

1,062

-0.8

-0.7

Kohl’s

-2.6

0.0

1,708

7,288

-4.2

-1.7

Cato

-7.4

-0.3

84

441

-10

-3

Wet Seal

-7.4

-6.0

54

243

-9.0

-9.3

   Total

3.3

5.1

18,278

78,965

2.6

4.2

 

 

 

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