New York -- Retail sales generally improved in June, helped by good weather and big discounts as retailers look to clear inventory for the back-to-school season.
Costco Wholesale Corp. reported a 6% increase in June same-store sales, helped by higher fuel prices. Its results topped Wall Street estimates.
Excluding the impact of foreign exchange rates and gasoline prices, Costco’s same-store sales increased 6% for the five-week period ended July 6. The metric rose 5% in the United States and 7% overseas.
Net sales rose 10% to $10.89 billion.
While the retailers that still report same-store sales were in line or slightly better than had been expected, there were exceptions. L Brands reported a 2% increase in June same-store sales, below estimates for a 3.1% increase. Growth was led by a 3% increase in sales for the company's Victoria's Secret brand
In other June results:
• Zumiez reported a 3.1% rise in same-store sales. Net sales for June rose 11.1% to $65.3 million, from $58.8 million in the year-ago period.
• Stein Mart’s same-store sales increased 2.6%. Total revenue for the five weeks ended July 5 rose 4% to $113.2 million.
• The Buckle posted a 0.7% increase in same-store sales. Net sales for the period increased 2.8% to $84.8 million, from $82.5 million last year.
• Fred’s same-store sales fell 0.6%. Total sales for the month increased 2% to $191.2 million, from $187.3 million last year.
• Gap reported a 7% drop in global same-store sales at both its Gap and Banana Republic banners during June 2014. Global same-store sales at Gap’s Old Navy banner rose 7%. June net sales at Gap increased 1% compared with the same period last year, to $1.54 billion from $1.53 billion.