Retail doldrums crimp comps
August 31, 2006,
New York – Even back to school and the start of the cool-weather clothing season couldn't do much to drive consumers into the malls during August; same-store retail sales remained spotty, with the Johnson Redbook monthly Flash Report showing a 2.9% gain, lagging a 3.7% increase in July and a 3.1% gain in June.
Of the 22 home fashions retailers tracked monthly by Home Textiles Today, recorded declines, 14 stores posted gains.
Target’s sales rose a modest 2.8%, behind a 3.1% increase during July and well off its customary pace of rapid growth. Wal-Mart's U.S. stores recorded a 2.5% gain, somewhat ahead of a 2.3% increase the preceding month.
A clear big winner in the moderate price channel was Kohl's, which pushed its same-store sales up by 5.2% — but even Kohl's couldn't match its 5.9% increase the prior month.
Results were mixed, but broadly soft, in the department-store channel, with Federated coming out on top with a 3.8% gain, besting last month's increase of 3.3%. In a surprisingly soft finish, JCPenney department stores recorded a 0.5% drop, losing ground after a 4.9% increase in July.
Bon-Ton comps dropped 5.7% following a 12.2% gain in July; Saks’ remaining department stores put up a 2.0% drop, weakening from July's 1.0% gain. And Dillard's remained in the loss column with a 1.0% drop, even though it improved on the prior month's even deeper slide of 2.9%.
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