Retailers Report July Sales

Ross, Chico’s, Aeropostale among those reporting positive results
Posted August 6, 2009

Retailers reporting July and second-quarter sales results showed a mixed bag. Some bright spots include Ross Stores Inc. (Pleasanton, Calif.), which says sales for the four weeks ended August 1, 2009, increased 8 percent while comparable store sales rose 4 percent.

Mall-based specialty retailer Aeropostale (New York) also reported positive July results as same-store sales increased 6 percent.

Chico's FAS Inc. (Fort Myers, Fla.) reports a 3.6 percent increase in second quarter sales, while comparable store sales rose 1.3 percent verses a 15.9 percent drop last year. On a brand basis, Chico’s/Soma Intimates’ same-store sales rose 0.4 percent and White House | Black Market grew 3.7 percent.

In the food sector, Tim Hortons Inc. (Oakville, Ont.) showed some resilience with second quarter systemwide-sales growing 5 percent. Same-store sales increased 1.7 percent in Canada and 3.3 percent in the U.S.

Among those continuing to struggle in this economy is Macy's Inc. (Cincinnati), which saw sales as well as same-store sales drop 10.7 percent in July. For the second quarter of 2009, the company's total sales have dropped 9.7 percent. On a same-store basis, Macy’s second-quarter sales were down 9.5 percent.

Discounter Big Lots Inc. (Columbus, Ohio) reported its second quarter retail sales decreased 2.3 percent; comparable store sales for stores open at least two years declined 2.4 percent. The retailer reports the best performing merchandise categories were consumables, hardlines and seasonal, with all three categories posting flat or positive comparable store sales results for the quarter. Sales in home and furniture categories were below last year.

Specialty apparel retailer Limited Brands Inc. (Columbus, Ohio) saw comparable store sales drop 7 percent, while net sales totaled $556.2 million compared to $601.3 million last year. On a brand basis, same-store sales dropped 9 percent at Victoria’s Secret; 9 percent at La Sensa and 7 percent at Limited Brands. Bath and Body Works sales remained flat.

Abercrombie & Fitch’s (New Albany, Ohio) quarterly net sales decreased 22 percent, while July same-store sales dropped 28 percent. Among its brands, Abercrombie & Fitch saw comparable store sales decrease 25 percent; abercrombie’s dropped 27 percent; Hollister Co. down 32 percent; and RUEHL declined 28 percent.