Blog: A gloomy August for US retailers

Joe Ayling | 5 September 2008

The US retail roundup for August is plagued with same-store sales declines at fashion chains, showing that consumer appetite for discretionary items is still somewhat stifled by economic woes in the country.

Lowering disposable incomes in the country hit demand for clothes at stores including Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle, Chico's, The Gap, Saks, Nordstrom, Limited Brands and Kohl's.

A few chains bucked the negative same-store sales trend, including Aeropostale, Mothers Work and American Apparel, but August was a gloomy month for most as shoppers favoured discount retail, especially for back-to-school items.

However, a rallying US dollar has risen by around 10% against a basket of currencies collated by Forbes in the past month, and the longer-term migration of market speculators from oil to the dollar should enable US consumers to save at the petrol pump and reap the rewards of lower inflation.

In the meantime, retailers are finding the balance between encouraging shoppers to use their 'discretion' to buy more clothes, shoes and accessories, while keeping a close eye on inventories.

By Joe Ayling, news editor.

Read just-style's monthly US retail roundup for August here


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