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Specialty stores hit and miss in June

BY CSA STAFF

NEWYORK — Disappointing same-store sales results in June weren’t necessarily unexpected, as the month typically trends weaker as shoppers have fewer reasons to shop.

Thomson Reuters, which polls 18 U.S. retail chains, projected its Same-Store Sales Index to inch up 0.5% in June, far below last year’s 6.7% rise for the month. Analysts have said that warm weather may have prompted consumers to make summer apparel purchases earlier than usual, shifting sales from later months like June.

Just before the July 4th holiday, the International Council of Shopping Centers trimmed its earlier June same-store sales forecast of a 1.5% to 2% rise to an even more conservative 1% to 1.5% increase.

Among the specialty store retailers, the results were hit and miss. The Limited was the big winner with a 7% rise in June same-store sales, handily beating Wall Street’s forecasted 2.4% rise. The parent to Victoria’s Secret, Pink, Bath and Body Works, La Senza and Henri Bendel said its total June sales, however, remained nearly flat at $1.1 billion.

Wet Seal and Buckle posted the weakest results in the category, with declines of 9% and 2.5% respectively.

Gap reported flat same-store sales in June, just missing the .1% gain projected by Wall Street. Overall sales for the month increased 2%.

“We’re pleased with our overall sales performance in June, especially the continued positive trend in our North America business,” said Glenn Murphy, chairman and CEO, Gap Inc.

Other specialty store results announced so far included Zumiez, which saw same-store sales rise 8.2% in June, narrowly missing analysts’ predicted 8.4% gain.

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Tide honors Team USA

BY CSA STAFF

CINCINNATI — As part of its "My Story. Our Flag." project, Tide unveiled a special flag — created in honor of Team USA — in New York’s Bryant Park on Tuesday.

The 117-ft.-by-52-ft. flag, a larger-than-life artistic rendition of the American flag, features nearly 1,500 stories collected from Tide’s Facebook and Twitter followers. Each piece of fabric making up the flag was washed in Tide prior to being sewn together, the brand said.

"Every two years during the Olympic Games, the pride we have for the red, white and blue swells as people celebrate our country’s athletes," said Alex Keith, VP of P&G North American fabric care. "We’re excited to honor Team USA with this beautiful flag created for the ‘My Story. Our Flag.’ project."

As part of the project, Tide has partnered with three Olympic athletes — including distance runner Lopez Lomong, cyclist Sarah Hammer and wrestler Henry Cejudo — and actress and singer Katharine McPhee, all of which have inspiring stories that Tide said are great examples of the rich and diverse stories we all have.

I am so thrilled to be a part of this inspirational flag," Katharine McPhee said. "To see what the red, white and blue mean to Americans across this country truly reminds us why it’s so great to be an American and gets me very excited to root on Team USA during this year’s Olympic Games."
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TJX and Ross shine in June

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York — As discounters such as Target, Stein Mart and warehouse club operator Costco posted disappointing same-store sales results in June, TJX Cos. and Ross Stores shone with gains that surpassed Wall Street estimates. TJX saw a same-store sales rise of 7% in June, beating the 4.2% rise predicted by analysts. Ross was up 7% for the month, after Wall Street forecast a 4.8% increase. Sales rose 12% to $886 million in June. Both chains raised their second-quarter profit forecasts.

Target reported weaker-than-expected same-store sales growth, as June same-store sales rose 2.1% and missed the expected 2.4% rise. Sales for the month rose 2.6% to $6.4 billion, and the discounter reiterated its earnings forecast for its fiscal second quarter.

“Following better-than-expected performance in May, our June comparable-store sales were near the low end of our expected range," said Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and CEO. "We believe these results, combined with our outlook for July, keep us on-track to deliver second quarter sales and adjusted EPS in line with the guidance we provided at the time of our first quarter earnings release.”

Costco Wholesale Corp. reported a 3% gain in monthly same-store sales, missing Wall Street’s forecasted 3.7% rise. Sales also missed Wall Street views.

Among other discount results:

  • Stein Mart same-store sales declined .5% in June, missing Wall Street’s expected 2% rise;
  • Fred’s dropped 4%, widely missing the projected .2% gain;
  • Cato Corp. same-store sales plummeted 10% in June;
  • Duckwall-ALCO declined 2.9%. Stage Stores beat expectations with a 3.3% rise; and
  • Stage Stores beat expectations with a 3.3% rise.
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