FINANCE

Report: July total U.S. retail sales mixed

BY CSA STAFF

Purchase, N.Y. A report released Thursday by MasterCard Advisors found that July total retail sales edged up, but not as much as in June.

According to SpendingPulse, MasterCard Advisors’ report that tracks national retail and service sales, in July total retail sales, ex-auto, grew by 1.4% year-over-year with seasonally adjusted month-to-month sales declining by 0.9%. 

Excluding auto and gasoline, on a seasonally unadjusted basis, year-over-year sales in July grew by 1.0%, slightly below June’s 1.1% increase. 

“After several months of sales slowdown, total retail sales have stabilized somewhat, although overall growth has slowed sharply since earlier this year,” said Kamalesh Rao, director of economic research for MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse. “In fact, growth in July headline numbers was driven largely by an increase in spending on gasoline, which is why the ex-auto ex-gasoline number is a better barometer to measuring the underlying health in retail spending.”

July’s growth rate excluding auto and gasoline leaves the three-month average year-to-year growth rate of retail sales at 1.0%, well below the 3.5% for the prior three months, according to the report. 

“The ex-auto year-over-year numbers tell a similar story of a shallow and stabilizing trough, with the unadjusted three-month average year-over-year growth rate slowing to 1.6% compared with the 6.5% average growth rate for the previous three months,” said Rao.

On a sector basis, there was strength in e-commerce, airline, lodging, electronics and appliances, while spending in apparel, jewelry and luxury underperformed.  

On a regional basis, spending in all parts of the country, except the Pacific region, grew between 0.1% and 3.5% on a seasonally unadjusted year-over-year basis, with the Northeast on the upper end of the range and North Central and Great Plains enjoying a significant rebound.   

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Staples names head of foundation division

BY CSA STAFF

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. Staples has announced the appointment of Mike Miles as president of Staples Foundation for Learning, the charitable arm of Staples Inc.

Miles, Staples’ president and COO, succeeds Ron Sargent, Staples’ chairman and CEO, as head of the foundation.

 

“As we continue to build SFFL, we look forward to further engaging our senior executives in contributing to the growth and development of the organization,” said Sargent. “The foundation is in good hands under Mike’s leadership and I look forward to providing my continued support toward the great work the team is doing.”

Since its launch in 2002, Staples Foundation for Learning has contributed to nearly 1,000 non-profit organizations, Staples reported.

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Macy’s quarterly earnings see significant growth

BY CSA STAFF

CINCINNATI Macy’s reported earnings of 35 cents per diluted share for the second quarter of 2010, ended July 31. According to the company, this significant earnings increase over the second quarter of last year was driven by higher-than-expected sales, improved margins, a reduced expense rate and disciplined inventory management.

“We believe our business is beginning to hit its stride after implementing significant structural and organizational changes over thepast two years. While the economic environment remains uncertain, Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s have a terrific opportunity to continue to take market share and grow our business profitably,” said Terry Lundgren, Macy’s Inc. chairman, president and CEO.

In the second quarter of 2009, Macy’s earned 2 cents per diluted share.

 

Sales in the second quarter totaled $5.537 billion, up 7.2% from total sales of $5.164 billion in the second quarter of 2009. On asame-store basis, Macy’s Inc.’s second quarter sales were up 4.9%.

 

 

Macy’s Inc. currently expects same-store sales in the second half of fiscal 2010 to be up in the range of 3% to 3.5%, whichwould result in full-year 2010 same-store sales to be up between 4% and 4.2%. At the beginning of the year, the company’sinitial guidance was for a 2010 same-store sales increase of 1% to 2%. At the end of the first quarter, full-year same-storesales guidance was raised to up 3% to 3.5%, reflecting improvement in the business trend.

Based on stronger sales expectations, Macy’s Inc. is increasing its full-year 2010 earnings guidance to $1.85 to $1.90 per diluted share.This compares with previous guidance of $1.75 to $1.80 per diluted share, and initial earnings guidance of $1.55 to $1.60 per diluted share provided at the beginning of the year.

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