The following is a general round-up of apparel and shoe chains' August sales results. The list will be updated as new results become available.

Casual apparel, footwear and accessories retailer The Buckle Inc reported a 13.3 per cent rise in August sales to $54.5 million, from $48.1 million in the corresponding month in 2003. Comparable store sales, for stores open at least one year, increased 6.7 percent.

Same-store sales at Limited Brands dropped 2 per cent for the four weeks ended 28 August 2004 compared to the same four weeks last year. Net sales were $577.8 million compared to sales of $575.7 million last year. The company's stores include Victoria's Secret, Express, Express Men's, Limited Stores and Henri Bendel.

Teen apparel retailer American Eagle Outfitters said August sales soared 34 per cent to $208.4 million. This compares to $155.6 million for the four-week period last year. Same-store sales, which include American Eagle and Bluenotes stores, were up 23.9 per cent. Comparable store sales for the American Eagle brand increased 26.6 per cent for the month.

Retailer Men's Wearhouse posted net sales for the four weeks ended 28 August of $96.5 million compared to sales of $85.0 million for the same prior year period - an increase of 13.5 per cent. US comparable store sales for the four weeks increased 9.0 per cent and Canadian same-store sales increased 10.2 per cent versus the same period a year ago.

Casual and active apparel retailer Aeropostale Inc said total net sales in August rose 28.3 per cent to $112.1 million, up from $87.4 million for the same period in 2003. The company's comparable store sales increased 6.2 per cent for the month, versus a comparable store sales increase of 1.6 per cent in the year ago period. Julian R Geiger, chairman and chief executive officer said: "We continue to get a strong response on our merchandise assortment and believe we are well positioned for the remainder of the back to school selling season."

United Retail Group Inc said net sales were $24.1 million during August 2004 versus $24.9 million during August 2003. Comparable store sales at the large-size women's fashion apparel retailer declined 2 per cent for the month. 

Total August sales at JoS A Bank Clothiers Inc increased 25.3 per cent to $21.8 million, compared with $17.4 million in the prior-year month. Comparable store sales increased 6.4 per cent when compared with the fiscal month of August 2003, while combined catalogue and internet sales increased 35.1 per cent. The men's tailored and casual clothing company said that substantially all major product categories posted sales gains in August 2004.

Maternity wear retailer Mothers Work Inc said net sales for August 2004 decreased 6.3 per cent to $39.0 million from $41.7 million in the same month last year. Comparable store sales dropped 13.0 per cent (based on 888 locations) versus a drop of 1.7 per cent (based on 837 locations) for the August 2003 period.

Rebecca Matthias, president and chief operating officer of Mothers Work, said the weaker sales were because "competitive pressures in the maternity apparel market have increased over the past year."

Goody's Family Clothing Inc reported total sales of $94.1 million for the fiscal month of August 2004, an increase of 8.0 per cent from total sales of $87.1 million for August 2003. Same-store sales increased 3.5 per cent.

Sales for the four weeks ended 28 August at the Cato Corporation were $51.7 million, a 6 per cent increase from the $48.9 million in the same month last year. Comparable store sales were flat to last year.

"August comp store sales were minimally impacted by several offsetting occurrences including recent storms, and the calendar shifts of several tax- free holidays and Labor Day," commented John Cato, chairman, president, and chief executive officer of the value-priced women's fashion apparel retailer.

Casual apparel retailer Pacific Sunwear of California Inc posted total August sales of $155.2 million, an increase of 13.5 per cent over last year's $136.7 million. Company same store sales increased 3.7 per cent for the comparable four-week period ended 28 August, on top of a 15.6 per cent same store sales increase in August 2003. PacSun same store sales increased 3.9 per cent and d.e.m.o. same store sales increased 2.0 per cent.

August sales at specialty apparel retailer The Talbots Inc dropped 1 per cent to $86.8 million from $87.8 million for the same month of 2003. Comparable store sales decreased 4.6 per cent for the month, as expected.

Arnold B Zetcher, chairman, president and chief executive officer, said the same store sales decline "reflects the reduced inventory levels of markdown merchandise remaining for our semi-annual sale event. Regular-price selling trends on early fall merchandise in our core women's businesses continued to be healthy with comps increasing in the mid-single digit range for the month."

Stein Mart Inc's August sales were $91.6 million, down 1.4 per cent on last year's $92.9 million. Same-store sales were up 2.4 per cent. "As expected, our comparable store sales gains in August were modest, due to the clearance emphasis during the period, a planned reduction in marketing, and a later Labor Day holiday," noted Michael D Fisher, president and chief executive officer.

Women's plus-size apparel chain Charming Shoppes Inc said total sales for August fell 1 per cent to $164.8 million from $166 million last year. Comparable store sales decreased 2 per cent for the four week period. By chain, same-store sales at Lane Bryant Stores were up 4 per cent, Fashion Bug Stores decreased 6 per cent, and Catherines Stores fell 3 per cent.             

Specialty retailer Nordstrom Inc reported sales of $431.7 million for the four-week period ending 28 August, an increase of 8.2 per cent compared to sales of $399.1 million for the same month in 2003. Same-store sales increased 7.2 per cent. The strongest merchandise categories were accessories, women's shoes and women's designer apparel.

Casual Male Retail Group Inc, retail brand operator of Casual Male Big & Tall, the exclusive retailer of George Foreman's clothing collection, said August sales for the Casual Male Big and Tall stores, catalogue and e-commerce business increased 1.9 per cent. Sales were $21.8 million versus $21.4 million for the prior year's four week period. Comparable store sales increased 1.8 per cent for the month.

Specialty women's clothing retailer Christopher & Banks Corporation's August sales rose 9 per cent to $29.8 million from $27.3 million last year, while same-store sales declined 4 per cent. Bill Prange, chairman and chief executive officer, said: "We are encouraged that the delivery of new merchandise receipts drove improved same-store sales during the second half of August. While still negative, same-store sales declined by a low single digit percentage during the last two weeks of August."

Comparable store sales at Deb Shops Inc decreased 2.4 per cent for the month ended 31 August 2004. Total sales decreased 1.4 per cent to $29.9 million from $30.3 million last year.

AnnTaylor Stores Corporation said total net sales for August increased 10.2 per cent to $115.31 million over total net sales of $104.59 million for the same period of 2003. By division, net sales were $49.18 million for Ann Taylor compared to $52.68 million last year, and $54.41 million for Ann Taylor Loft compared to $41.39 million last year.

Comparable store sales for the period decreased 4.5 per cent compared to an increase of 8.2 per cent last year. By division, same-store sales were down 8.0 per cent for Ann Taylor versus a 6.6 per cent increase last year, and up 2.7 per cent for Ann Taylor Loft compared to a 7.1 per cent increase last year.

The Gymboree Corporation said net sales from retail operations for the four-week period ended 28 August were $44.8 million, an increase of 5 per cent over last year's $42.8 million. Comparable store sales for the four-week period decreased 3 per cent.

Youth oriented retailer Abercrombie & Fitch posted net sales of $212.1 million in August, an 11 per cent rise over last year's August sales of $190.4 million. Same-store sales decreased 5 per cent compared with the August 2003.

Specialty retailer The Wet Seal Inc reported August net sales from continuing operations, excluding the discontinued Zutopia division, of $39.5 million, versus $48.4 million for the same period last year. Same-store sales from continuing operations declined 14.8 per cent for the four-week period, compared to a decline of 10.4 percent for the same period a year ago. During the four-week period, the company opened one Arden B store.

Private label retailer Chico's FAS Inc's August sales increased 36.5 per cent to $76.9 million from $56.3 million reported for the same month last year. Comparable store sales for company-owned stores increased 3.6 per cent.

Leather apparel retailer Wilsons The Leather Experts Inc said August same-store sales rose 9 per cent on better-than-expected performance from new fall lines. Total sales for the month fell 5.5 per cent to $21.1 million from $22.4 million last year.

Stage Stores Inc reported an 8.1 per cent rise in August same-store sales. Total sales for the month rose 47.8 per cent to $105.7 million from $71.5 million a year ago. Children's and footwear led the way with double-digit comparable-store sales increases of 16.3 per cent and 13.4 per cent, respectively.

Footwear retailer Payless ShoeSource Inc said same-store sales decreased 6.9 per cent during the August reporting period. Company sales totalled $218.0 million, a 6.4 per cent decrease from $232.7 million during fiscal August of last year.

Kohl's Corp's August same-store sales fell 0.7 per cent, hurt by a 7 per cent decline in the number of transactions per store. The department store chain said total sales for the four-week period ended 28 August rose 14 per cent to $881.6 million, from $773.4 million, a year earlier. Kohl's said its kids, homes and women's apparel departments posted higher-than-expected results.

Brown Shoe Company Inc said August retail sales for Famous Footwear, its chain of 917 family footwear stores, fell to $133.4 million from $135.8 million for the same period last year. Same-store sales for August decreased 5.5 per cent.

Retail sales at Brown Shoe's domestic Naturalizer retail division were $11.6 million for the month, compared to $12 million last August. Same-store sales decreased 7.1 per cent for August, in part due to the later timing of a catalogue mailing and the Labor Day shift.

Value-priced men's wear retailer S&K Famous Brands Inc posted a 3.8 per cent decline in same-store sales for the four weeks ended 28 August. Total sales were flat at $11.0 million versus $11.1 million last year.

Off-price company Ross Stores Inc reported sales of $312 million for the four week period ended 28 August, down 1 per cent from the $315 million posted in the same period of 2003. Comparable store sales declined 8 per cent.

Fashion retailer Guess? Inc reported a 10.6 per cent rise in total August retail sales to $45.9 million, from $41.5 million in the prior year. Comparable store sales for the August period increased 5.9 per cent.

The TJX Companies Inc, an off-price retailer of apparel and home fashions, said sales for the four-weeks ended 28 August were up 13 per cent on robust performance from women's apparel, footwear, jewellery and accessories. Sales were $1.1 billion from the $995 million achieved during the same four weeks of last year. Consolidated same-store sales were up 4 per cent over last year.

The Dress Barn Inc, seller of career and casual fashion apparel, said total sales for August 2004 increased 2 per cent to $51.6 million versus $50.6 million reported for August 2003. Same-store sales were flat to last year. As of August 28, 2004 the company operated 782 stores in 45 states.