Thursday, August 6, 2009

July Same-Store Sales Roundup

As The Four Tops sang, "It's the same ol' song..." for the U.S. retail industry.

For the 11th consecutive month, U.S retailers reported flat same-store sales, with many missing analysts' estimates. An unseasonably cool July and tax-free holidays pushed back to August, due to the Labor Day holiday falling late, were contributing factors to the decline in sales.

Although sales were down 5%, the results were on track with industry expectations and "consistent with the recent trends seen in May and June", according to Michael P. Niemira, chief economist of International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). In a telephone interview with Bloomberg, Mr. Niemera said, “Although July doesn’t look much different than June or even May, I think it will probably mark the turn in the industry towards better performance from here on out".

Apparel and Department Stores continue to be the worst performing sectors, however there were a few bright spots. Gap, Inc. and Macy's, Inc., posted better-than-expected 2nd quarter earnings, sending their shares to rise. Gap's shares saw it's biggest gain since Nov. 21. Limited Brands beat analysts' estimates, which caused shares to rise 15%, it's largest gain since Oct. 28.

Improvements in gross margin and expense reductions contributed to retailers’ ability to report second-quarter profit above estimates, according to Liz Dunn, an analyst at Thomas Weisel Partners LLC in New York. (Source:
The S&P Retail Index rose 1.4%.

Here's the July Apparel/Dept. Store same-store sales roundup:

Limited Brands beat company and analysts' expectations, posting a 7% same-store sales decline for July. The company expects August comp. sales to decline in the high single-digits.

July same-store sales for Macy's, Inc. dropped 10.7%, above Thomson Reuter's analysts' estimates of a 9.1% decline. Total sales for July totaled $1.377B, a decline of 10.7% in comparison to sales of $1.543B for the same four week period ended in Aug. 2, 2008. Minus restructuring costs, Macy's, Inc. said it expects 2nd quarter earnings of $0.15 to $0.17 per share.

Gap Inc. posted an 8% same-store sales decline for July compared to an 11% drop in July 2008. Total sales were $924M, down 7%. Sabrina Simmons, CFO of Gap Inc., said the company expects earnings per share for the 2nd quarter to be between $0.30 and $0.32.

Dillard's comp. sales slid 12% coming above analysts' estimates of 10% declines. Total sales were down 15% for the month to $439,086,000.

Abercrombie & Fitch continues their downward spiral, with same-store sales falling 28% for July. Total sales for the month were down 22% to $236M. The company believes sales were negatively affected by a shift in the timing of tax-free holidays, and later back-to-school dates.

Nordstrom's same-store sales results dropped 6.9%, beating Wall St. estimates of a double-digit decline. Total sales slid 4.1% to $809M.

Saks slightly beat estimates, reporting a 16.3% decline in comp. sales. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters estimated a 16.6% decline. Sales for the month totaled $159.7M, a 14.9% decrease.

Same-store sales for Neiman Marcus were down 27.3% to $195M for the month. Total sales decreased 25.8% to $199M. The company reported weakness across all merchandise categories and regions.

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