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Specialty Apparel Retailers Post Weak Sales, With Some Exceptions

BY CSA STAFF

The nation’s specialty apparel retailers took a beating in October, as consumers continue to cut back on spending amid the economic crisis.

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. suffered a 20% drop last month, steeper than the 14.4% decline expected. Same-store sales fell 14% at namesake stores, 26% at Abercrombie, 25% at its Hollister stores and 26% at its Ruehl stores.

Gap Inc. on Thursday said its same-store sales dropped 16%, worse than the 11.1% decline. Limited Brands Inc. reported a 9% drop.

American Eagle Outfitters Inc. reported a 12% drop in same-store sales in October, worse than the 8% decline predicted.

Wet Seal Inc. saw its same-store sales fall 6.2%, less than the 8.6% decline expected. The teen retailer said it now expects third-quarter profit at the high end of its guidance.

Amid all the gloom, however, some retailers managed to thrive.

The Buckle Inc. on Thursday said its October same-store sales rose 14.5%.

The company said sales of both men’s and women’s clothing, accessories and footwear were strong. Also, average prices were higher than a year ago, with the average transaction value up 8% over last year, in part reflecting fewer discounts this year.

The Buckle said net sales for the four weeks ended Nov. 1 rose 20.7% to $60.3 million, from $50 million in the corresponding period last year.

Aeropostale Inc. said Thursday same-store sales rose 1% in October and raised its third-quarter-earnings estimates on the better-than-expected sales. Analysts expected Aeropostale’s same-store sales to fall by 14.4%. percent.

Total sales for the four weeks ending Nov. 1 rose 9% to $127.4 million from $116.4 million a year ago. Third-quarter total sales rose 17% to $482 million, while year-to-date total sales have grown 20% to $1.2 billion.

Urban Outfitters Inc.’s same-store sales rose 10% in its third quarter on strong results from its namesake brand. Same-store sales for its Urban Outfitters brand climbed 17%, while Anthropologie same-store sales edged up 2% and Free People same-store sales increased 4%.

Despite its solid third-quarter performance, CEO Glen T. Senk warned that the company would approach the holiday and spring seasons conservatively.

In other bright spots, Hot Topic Inc. said Wednesday its same-store sales jumped 8.3% in October. Same-store sales at Hot Topic namesake stores grew 8.4%, and same-store sales at its Torrid locations increased 7.8%.

Cato Corp. said Thursday that same-store sales rose 4% in October, beating analysts’ expectations as the women’s apparel retailer benefited from cool weather.

Bakers Footwear Group Inc. said Thursday that same-store sales rose 6.2% in October on increased sales of regular-priced footwear for fall.

The Children’s Place Retail Stores Inc. reported Thursday that October same-store sales rose 4%, outpacing analyst expectations.

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Report: Target launches new fashion program

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK According to reports, Target is launching a new fashion program, Target Designer Collaborations, with an apparel line by Alexander McQueen.

The McQueen collection, called McQ Alexander McQueen for Target will be available in stores next spring.

 

Target’s fashion push comes shortly after the company announced that it would limit store openings and would consider a proposal for the spin-off of its real estate business.

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Fresh & Easy to open stores in Bakersfield, Calif.

BY CSA STAFF

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market announced it will open its first two stores in Bakersfield, Calif. on Dec. 3. Fresh & Easy currently has five announced locations in Kern County.

“At Fresh & Easy, we offer fantastic products at incredible prices so you don’t have to compromise on what you feed your family,” said Fresh & Easy ceo Tim Mason. “We look forward to bringing great jobs and quality, affordable food to neighborhoods in Kern County.”

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