Modest Sales Growth in July
New York City, Retail sales came back to earth in July, as the industry as a whole posted modest comparable-store-sales growth of 3.6% on a year-over-year basis, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers’ (ICSC’s) tally.
“The July chain-store sales performance was softer than we expected but continued to be in line with the fiscal year-to-date trend,” said Michael Niemira, ICSC’s chief economist and director of research. With a heat wave diffusing demand for fall fashions, many apparel and department stores failed to live up to expectations. Both Federated and May posted comp-store declines, and even Nordstrom mustered a mere 3.6% same-store sales. Wholesale clubs and drug stores led the industry with increases of 5.0% and 4.7%, respectively. Wal-Mart Stores took the heat well, posting 4.4% comp-store growth as customers were in the mood for air conditioners and ice packs. Discount rival Target Corp. fared even better, with 5.5% growth. The ICSC expects same-store-sales growth to increase to 4.0% for the month of August.
Albertsons To Test In-Store Health Clinics
Boise, Idaho, Albertsons has signed a deal with Take Care Health Systems to test its in-store Health Centers in six Osco Drug Stores in the greater Kansas City market. The clinics will be staffed by certified nurse practitioners who will provide diagnosis and treatment of common family illnesses, administer vaccines and perform diagnostic screenings. Customers will be able to visit the clinics without an appointment.
CVS Sees Quarterly Profit, Sales Rise
Chicago, CVS Corp. reported an 18% increase in quarterly profit and a 5.1% rise in July sales in stores open at least a year. The increases are attributed to the greater demand for prescription drugs and more general merchandise sales.
CVS surpassed its expected profits. Analysts had expected a profit of 31 cents per share, but the drugstore chain’s profit rose 33 cents per share to $275.9 million. Last year, profits were $234.5 million, or 28 cents per share.
Preliminary figures revealed a 6.1% increase in pharmacy same-store sales and a 2.9% increase in same-store general merchandise comparable sales for the month of July. CVS will release its final July sales numbers on Thursday.