Retail sales show strength in April, led by Gap, L. Brands and Costco

New York -- Many retailers reported better than expected sales in April, helped by warmer weather and a later-than-usual Easter. Gap Inc., L Brands, Costco Wholesale Club, The Buckle, Stein Mart and Zumiez all came in ahead of analysts estimates.

At Gap Inc., same-store rose a better-than-expected 9% in April. By banner, sales were up 3% at Gap stores, 7% at Banana Republic and 18% at Old Navy. Analysts had expected Gap’s total same-store sales to inch up 0.1%.

“We are pleased with our execution overall in April, especially at Old Navy,” said Glenn Murphy, chairman and CEO, Gap.

For the first quarter of fiscal year 2014, Gap’s net sales rose 1% to $3.77 billion.

L Brands raised its first-quarter earnings forecast on strong sales in April at its Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works stores.   For the four weeks ended May 4, L Brands’ same-store sales rose 8%.   Total revenue increased 9% to $7.17.6 million in April.

Costco Wholesale Corp. reported a 5% increase in same-store sales, despite being closed on Easter Sunday, beating projections. Its international business was even stronger at a 7% increase. Net sales for the month totaled $8.56 billion.
In other same-store sales results for April:
Stein Mart Inc. posted a 8.9% increase in same-store sales, better than the 3% rise analysts expected.

Total sales for April came in at $108.1 million, compared with sales of $99.3 million in April 2013.

Zumiez Inc. had a same-store sales increase of 8.2%, surpassing estimates of a 1% increase. Total sales for the month were $50.6 million, up 17.6% over April of 2013.

The Buckle Inc. reported a 0.8% increase in same-store sales, compared to analysts’ projections of a 0.8% drop. Net sales rose 2.4% and totaled $75.6 million for the month.


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