New York City Shoppers, enticed by heavy discounts and armed with rebate checks, spent more freely in June, helping to lift many retailers' sales, according to the Associated Press.
As the nation's retailers reported June sales figures on Thursday, discounters and wholesale club operators including Wal-Mart Stores Inc., BJ's Wholesale Club Inc. and Costco Wholesale Corp. reported better-than-expected figures as consumers limited purchases mainly to groceries and other necessities.
The reports showed that some rebate money made its way to apparel stores such as Children's Place Retail Stores Inc., although generally sales at mall-based apparel stores, including Limited Brands Inc., Gap Inc., and Wet Seal Inc., remained sluggish.
Wal-Mart reported a robust 5.8% gain in same-store sales, saying economic stimulus checks helped lift overall customer traffic. The results exclude fuel sales. Wal-Mart noted strong gains in grocery, entertainment and health-and-wellness items and added that warmer weather helped sales in such categories as apparel and toys.
Target Corp. reported a 0.4% gain in same-store sales, while Costco reported a strong 9% gain in same-store sales.
BJ's said its June same-store sales soared 14.5% as sales of both merchandise and gasoline rose sharply.
Some clothing chains appeared to get some relief from the rebate money. Women's apparel retailer Cato Corp. said same-store sales rose 4% in June.
Children's Place Retail Stores said same-stores sales rose 16% in June. However, Limited posted a 9% decline in same-store sales.
Gap reported a 7% decline in same-store sales, while Wet Seal had a 2.9% decrease in same-store sales.