The following is a general roundup of US apparel and shoe chains' July 2011 sales results.

Action sportswear retailer Zumiez Inc has posted a 12.3% rise in total sales for the four weeks to 30 July, rising to $38.7m from $34.4m in the same period last year. Same-store sales were up 4.9% according to the company, which operates 420 stores.

At music/pop-influenced apparel retailer Hot Topic Inc, sales for the fiscal month of July rose 5.5% to $50.9m. Same-store sales climbed 7.3%, with an 11.8% gain at its Torrid stores and an increase of 6.2% at its Hot Topic chain. The company operates 636 Hot Topic stores and 145 Torrid stores.

Meanwhile, Stage Stores Inc saw its total sales climb 2.2% to $102m, up from $100m last year. Comparable store sales were up 0.8%, with gains in its children's, footwear, junior's and swimwear merchandise categories.

Net sales at maternity apparel retailer Destination Maternity Corporation edged up 0.5% in the month of July to $40.2m, compared with $40.0m last July. The company, which operates 2,358 retail locations, said its comparable store sales were down 7.3%. "Our July sales results were weaker than originally planned, but improved somewhat in the latter half of the month," the company added. 

Denim specialist The Buckle Inc saw its net sales rise 9.4% to $64.7m, up from $59.1m the year before. Same-store sales at stores open at least one year were up 6.8%.

While teen clothier The Wet Seal Inc said it was "encouraged" after July sales rose 12.9% to $46.4m. Same-store sales were 7.4% higher, thanks to gains of 7.8% at its Wet Seal stores and 5.0% at Arden B.

Limited Brands Inc, operator of the Victoria's Secret and La Senza chains, posted a rise of 6.6% in its net sales, which rose to $660.4m for the four weeks to 30 July from $619.7m last year. Comparable store sales increased 6%.

But at value-priced fashion retailer The Cato Corporation, sales were flat with last July at $63m and same-store sales fell 3%. "July same-store sales reflect the difficult economic conditions and uncertainty affecting our customers, especially the lower income customer," the company said.

Specialty clothing retailer Gap Inc saw its same-store sales fall 5% in July, in what it described as a "challenging" month. Comparable sales slipped 6% at Gap North America, fell 4% at Banana Republic North America, dropped 3% at Old Navy North America, and tumbled 10% at its international unit. Net sales edged up a marginal 0.1% to $949m, up from $948m in the same period last year.

Same-store sales also fell at Stein Mart Inc, slipping 2.8%. Total sales were down 4.1% to $67.2m from $70.1m a year earlier. Ladies' dresses, intimate apparel, casual and career sportswear posted positive same-store sales according to the retailer, which operates 260 shops.

Nordstrom Inc, meanwhile, reported an 11.5% jump in total retail sales, up to $993m from $890m last time. Same-store sales rose 6.6%. Thanks to its Anniversary Sale, July is the retailer's second-largest sales month of the year.

Better-than-expected revenues were posted by off-price retailer Ross Stores Inc, which saw sales increase 11% to $635m, up from $573m a year ago. Comparable store sales grew 7%. Dresses and shoes were the best-performing merchandise categories.

But July sales came in below expectations at department store operator The Bon-Ton Stores Inc, where total sales fell to $173.6m, down 2.3% on last year's $177.6m. Same-store sales dropped 1.6%. Men's sportswear and ladies' better, petite and large-size sportswear were among the best performers, while juniors, children's and shoes came in below plan.

Growth continued at Macy's Inc, where "strong" store and online sales were seen at both Macy's and Bloomingdale's. Total sales rose 5.7% to $1.612bn, up from $1.525bn last July, while same-store sales were up 5.0%. Sales were driven by "fresh, interesting and distinctive merchandise assortments that deliver value to our customer," the retailer said.

Revenues also rose at Dillard's Inc with total sales up 8% in July to give merchandise sales of $458.49m. Same-store sales increased 9%, with men's apparel and accessories "significantly above trend."

Retailer Saks Incorporated, which operates the Saks Fifth Avenue and Saks Off 5th stores, reported a 13.8% jump in sales to $191.0m from $167.9m. Comparable store sales were up 15.6%. The strongest categories included women's apparel, women's shoes, men's apparel, and men's accessories.

Department store operator Kohl's Corporation described its July results as "disappointing," after total sales fell 2.9% to $1.12bn, from $1.13bn a year earlier. Comparable store sales fell 4.6%. The company operates 1,097 stores.

In contrast, total sales at JC Penney Company Inc rose 1% to $1.17bn from $1.16bn, with same-store sales rising 3.3%. Women's apparel and accessories were among the best-performing merchandise divisions in July.  

At off-price retailer The TJX Companies Inc, sales for the four-week period climbed to $1.6bn, a rise of 8% over last year's $1.5bn. Same-store sales exceeded expectations with an increase of 4% over last year.

And July sales also came in at the high end of forecasts at Target Corporation, with net retail sales rising 5.6% to $4.84bn from $4.585bn a year ago. Comparable-store sales increased 4.1%.