Mixed-bag for retailers in April; TJX, Gap and The Buckle shine

New York -- TJX Cos., Gap Inc., The Buckle and Zumiez all reported better-than-expected same-store sales for April, even as concerns about the job market bit into other retailers’ results.
Gap Inc. said its same-store sales in April rose a better-than-expected 7%, an 8% gain for Gap stores, a 1% rise for Banana Republic and a 9% increase for Old Navy. Net sales for the first quarter, which ended May 4, 2013, were $3.73 billion compared with $3.49 billion in the year ago period. Same-store sales were up 8% at Gap Global; 1% at Banana Republic Global; and 9% at Old Navy Global.

TJX Cos. said that same-store sales in April were up 8% on strong customer traffic, better than the 6.8% increase that analysts had expected. For the four weeks ended May 4, total revenue rose 9% to $2 billion.

“As we enter the second quarter, May is off to a strong start and our inventory levels are in an excellent position for us to buy into the enormous amount of quality opportunities we are seeing in the marketplace,” said TJX CEO Carol Meyrowitz.  
The Buckle, Inc. reported a 6.2% increase in same-store sales for April, well ahead of the 1.5% same-store revenue growth anticipated by Wall Street analysts.
The teen apparel retailer also reported year-to-date same-store revenue growth of 1.2% and total sales of $269.7 million, a 2.3% increase.
Zumiez, also a teen fave, reported a 4.6% gain in same-store sales in April, ahead of predictions for a 3.3% increase. Total net sales for the four-week period ended May 4, 2013 increased 12.1% to $43.0 million.
At Costco Wholesale Corp, same-store sales in April rose 4%, just missing estimates, hurt by sharply lower fuel prices compared to last year. Net sales for the four weeks ending May 5 totaled $7.98 million, up 7% from $7.48 million during the same period a year earlier.

In addition, Costco reported $69 billion in net sales for the 35 weeks ending May 5, a 9% increase from $63.59 billion a year earlier. Total comparable store sales improved 6% in the same time period.
L Brands (parent of Victoria's Secret) reported smaller-than-expected sales gains in April, with same-store rising 2%, missing analysts forecasts for a 4.6% increase.

In other April results:

  • At Ross Stores, same-store sales rose 7%. For the 13 weeks ended May 4, 2013, sales totaled $2.5 billion, a 6% increase over the year-ago period.
  • Hot Topic said its same-store sales declined 1.6%.
  • Alco Stores said its same-store sales fell 2.2%, hurt by continuing wintry weather in the Midwest.
  • Wet Seal’s same-store sales were down 2.9%. But its results exceeded expectations and the company raised its guidance.
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