The following is a general roundup of apparel and shoe chains' July 2006 sales results. The list will be updated as new results become available.

Youth apparel maker Guess?? Inc reported July retail sales of $52.7m, an increase of 16.3% from sales of $45.3 million in the same month last year. Comparable store sales for July 2006 increased 10.7% compared to July 2005.

Dress Barn Inc, an apparel retailer with the Dressbarn and Maurices brands, posted an 11% increase in total sales for the four-week fiscal period ended 29 July to $95.0m. This compares to $85.2m reported for the same four weeks of 2005. Same-store sales increased 5% for the fiscal month of July.

Net sales at value-priced fashion retailer Citi Trends Inc rose 27.9% to $24.2m. Comparable store sales increased 7.7% for the four-weeks to 29 July compared with an 8.5% increase in the prior-year period. The company has included relocated and expanded stores in its comparable store sales results.

American Eagle Outfitters said July sales were up by 12% to $197.4m, versus $175.8m in the same month last year. Comparable store sales increased 7% for the month. The company said July performance reflected a favourable customer response to an on-trend back-to-school assortment and continued momentum of the AE brand.

July sales at US Men's Wearhouse stores open at least one year rose 2%. In Canada, July same-store sales rose 12.6%. Total sales for the month rose 7.7% to $113.6m.

Sportswear retailer Zumiez Inc announced that total net sales for the four-week July period increased 44.6% to $19.8m, compared to $13.7m for the same period last year. The company's comparable store sales increased 8.4% for the four-week period, versus a comparable store sales increase of 12.7% a year ago. The company completed its acquisition of 19 Fast Forward stores in June but has not included them in its comparable store base.

United Retail Group reported a 4% rise in net sales to $32.8m during July 2006 from $31.5m during July 2005. Comparable store sales increased 4% for the month on top of a 17% increase in July 2005. The company said it is well positioned at the beginning of the autumn season with fewer units per average store of spring /summer carryover apparel than any comparable time during the last 10 years.

Teen retailer Hot Topic said July same-store sales fell 7.25% versus a 5% drop in July of 2005. "We believe our back-to-school assortment, especially our men's and women's fashion statements, are on trend and look better than they have looked in years," chief executive Betsy McLaughlin said in a statement.

Total sales in July for men's wear retailer JoS A Bank Clothiers Inc rose 28.0% to $34.7m, from $27.1m in fiscal July 2005. Comparable store sales increased 15.9%, while combined catalogue and internet sales increased 34.0%.

Mothers Work, the maternity apparel retailer, announced an 8.1% climb in net sales for the month of July to $47.0m from $43.4m last year. The rise was primarily driven by increased sales from the company's Oh Baby! by Motherhood licensed arrangement with Kohl's, as well as a 3.9% increase in comparable store sales. During July 2006 the company closed 12 leased locations, mostly in Sears department stores.

Stage Stores Inc said its July sales were up 19.3% to $112.6m from $94.4m in the prior year period. Comparable store sales increased 6.2% versus an increase of 2.4% last year. Comparable store sales do not include sales generated at the company's recently acquired BC Moore stores. Stage Stores said it was encouraged by the pace of business during July in its back-to school related categories, including children's, young men's and juniors.

Casual apparel and footwear retailer The Buckle Inc saw net sales drop 3.5% to $34.0m from $35.2m in July last year. Comparable store net sales, for stores open at least one year, for the four-week period declined 7.6%.

Pacific Sunwear of California Inc said its July sales were $102.4m, a decrease of 5.0% over last year's $107.8m. Total company same store sales decreased 10.6% during the same period. By concept, PacSun same store sales decreased 10.2% and d.e.m.o. same store sales decreased 13.4% compared to the same four week period last year.

Cache Inc, a 301-store women's apparel chain, posted a 2% rise in Cache same-store sales in July versus an increase of 10% in the prior year period. Total sales for the four week period ended 29 July increased $0.5m or 3% to $16.0m. The company plans to exit its Lillie Rubin business by the end of September 2006, so its same-store sales results only include its 272 Cache stores.

Women's wear retailer The Wet Seal Inc reported a 6.4% increase in comparable store sales. This compares with an increase of 50.9% in the same period a year ago. Net sales for July were $44.2m versus $37.1m last year, an increase of 19.2%.

July sales at The Children's Place Retail Stores Inc increased 28% to $131.1m compared to $102.8m last year. Consolidated comparable store sales increased 15%. During July, the company opened two Children's Place stores and one Disney Store. Ezra Dabah, chairman and chief executive officer said the company was encouraged by "the initial favourable customer response to our back-to-school offerings at both brands and we are especially pleased with the continued strength at Disney Store."

Leather outerwear, accessories and apparel retailer Wilsons The Leather Experts Inc reported sales of $16.1m for the four weeks of July, down 17.4% from last July's $19.5m. Comparable store sales fell 18.3%. Michael Searles, chairman and chief executive officer, said the decrease in comparable store sales results reflects its transitioning merchandise mix."

New York & Company Inc, a women's apparel chain with 537 stores, said its total net sales for July increased 6.9% to $71.3m, compared to $66.7m in the prior year period. Comparable store sales decreased 0.1%. Richard P Crystal, chairman and CEO stated: "Our July sales trend improved as our customers responded more favourably to our assortments. We believe we are well positioned to capitalise on fall trends."

Limited Brands' July same-store sales rose 7% and net sales for the four week period were up 10% to $656.6m. The Columbus, Ohio-based operator of Victoria's Secret, Express and Bath & Body Works, reported a same-store sales increase of 5% for the second quarter, while net sales rose 7% to $2.45bn.

Chico's FAS Inc said its July sales increased 16.3% to $110.3m from $94.8m in the same period last year. Comparable store sales for the company-owned stores increased 4.9%. The company owns 510 Chico's front-line stores, 32 Chico's outlet stores, 213 White House | Black Market front-line stores, 11 White House | Black Market outlet stores, 23 Soma by Chico's stores, 10 Fitigues front-line stores and 1 Fitigues outlet store.

Stein Mart Inc's total sales were down 5.4% in July, while same-store sales dropped 5.9%. In July, the best performances came from ladies' dresses, social separates, special sizes and intimate apparel. The company blamed its "disappointing" July results on having less clearance merchandise than last year "in a very clearance-focused month," as well as some initial learning issues with the new price optimisation system, which produced earlier and heavier markdowns than planned.

Fashion retailer Nordstrom Inc reported preliminary sales of $842.6m in July, an increase of 7.0% compared to sales of $787.3m for the same four-week period last year. Same-store sales increased 5.3%.

Total sales at women's clothing retailer Christopher & Banks for the five weeks to 29 July increased 21% to $49.6m from $41.1m last year. July same-store sales rose 10%, exceeding the company's expectations. "Overall, we are encouraged by the continued strength in our sales and are optimistic regarding our prospects for the beginning of the fall selling season," said Joe Pennington, chief executive officer.
Comparable store sales at Deb Shops Inc decreased 9.6% in July 2006 compared to July 2005. Total sales decreased 5.9% to $23.1m from $24.5m last year. The company operates 333 specialty apparel stores under the DEB and Tops 'N Bottoms names.

AnnTaylor Stores Corporation posted total net July sales of $156.7m, up 12.6% on last year's $139.1m. By division, net sales were $58.7m for Ann Taylor compared to $58.3m last year, and $80.2m for Ann Taylor Loft compared to $66.1m last year. Same store sales for the period increased 5.1%. By division, comparable store sales for fiscal July 2006 were up 1.4% for Ann Taylor, and up 8.3% for Ann Taylor Loft.
Kay Krill, president & chief executive officer of Ann Taylor, said the company experienced a significant increase in full-price selling and higher margins over sales in July of last year. "Based on effective inventory management throughout the season, coupled with strong product, we were able to eliminate our traditional semi-annual 40 percent clearance event in July in both divisions, resulting in more profitable sales growth for the month," she said.

Abercrombie & Fitch posted net sales of $230.0m for fiscal July, a 20% increase over last year's $191.0m. July comparable store sales increased 3% compared to the four-week period ended 30 July 2005.

July net sales at Gap Inc were $1.05bn, an increase of 1% over last year's $1.04bn. Same-store sales fell 4% compared with a 4 percent decrease in July 2005. By division, comparable store sales were down 13% at Gap North America, flat at Banana Republic North America and Old Navy North America, and down 6% in the International division.

Sabrina Simmons, senior vice president, treasury and investor relations said Gap and Old Navy decided to take aggressive markdowns in July to clear product and enable a clean presentation of autumn assortments, which arrived late in the month. "This resulted in July merchandise margins significantly below last year," she said.

Teen apparel retailer Aeropostale Inc announced a 13.1% rise in total net sales for July. The company's comparable store sales decreased 1.9% for the month, versus a comparable store sales decrease of 4.2% in the year-ago period. The company said its women's denim and long bottoms categories performed significantly below expectations, and it has consequently lowered its view for the second quarter to $0.14-0.15 per diluted share.

Off- price retailer Ross Stores Inc reported sales of $397m, a 10% increase above the $362m posted last year. However, the company said July sales were below plan, as business unexpectedly slowed across most markets and merchandise categories. Comparable store sales for the same period increased 1% on top of a 7% gain in the prior year.

The Cato Corporation, which sells value-priced women's fashion apparel through its 'Cato' and 'It's Fashion!' divisions, said sales were $60.3m in July, a 6% increase over last year's $56.8m. Same-store sales for the month increased 1%.

Bebe Stores Inc reported retail sales of $45.4m, an increase of 21.4% compared to sales of $37.4m last year. Same store sales for the four-week period rose 10.0% compared to an increase of 25.0% for July 2005. As of 29 July 2006, finished goods inventory per square foot was approximately 8% higher as compared to the prior year.

Net sales from retail operations at The Gymboree Corporation were $49.5m, an increase of 13% compared to $43.9m for the same period last year. Comparable store sales were up 6% compared to a 10% increase last time. "July proved to be a very successful month," said Matthew McCauley, chairman and chief executive officer - and the company is increasing its financial outlook for the fiscal quarter to $0.04 to $0.02 per diluted share.