Blog: Has spring sprung for US retailers?
Leonie Barrie | 9 March 2009
Milder weather, new spring merchandise and tight control over inventories helped many US retailers to better-than-expected sales in February. But even so, industry observers are warning this is unlikely to mark the beginning of a recovery.
Leading the charge, Wal-Mart Stores again put in a market-beating performance, after lower gas prices meant some households had more disposable income to spend. Sales at stores open at least one year were up 5.1%, it said.
But higher sales at Wal-Mart are seen as confirmation that cash-strapped shoppers continue to trade down in their search for bargains. And they’re spending their money on products like groceries and healthcare rather than on clothes.
As if to confirm this, apparel retailers and department stores saw some the steepest sales declines, but in many cases sales were down less than analysts had expected. Gap Inc, American Eagle Outfitters, Limited, Wet Seal, Stage Stores, Target Corp and TJX were just a few that bucked expectations.
However department stores such as Macy's, Saks Inc, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom Inc are still struggling to attract shoppers.
Of course there were some signs that spring has sprung, with Hot Topic posting a 10.8% increase in same-store sales and teen retailer The Buckle seeing its same-store sales climb 21% from a year earlier.
But by and large, the results simply beat dismal expectations and will be hard to maintain for the first half of the year. Although it’s also worth remembering that now we’re a year into the economic slowdown, same-store sales for the months ahead are going to be against weakening year-ago numbers so may simply look better by comparison.
Continuing our look at what lies ahead for the apparel industry and its supply chain in 2017, the panel of industry experts consulted by just-style last week tackled likely shifts in the sourcing land...
This week our focus turns to first thoughts from a panel of industry experts consulted by just-style on the challenges and opportunities likely to face the apparel supply chain in 2017, with prospects...
Welcome back after the holiday break, and from the team here at just-style I’d like to wish all our readers a happy and prosperous New Year....
Apparel sourcing is a complex process built on a mix of location, logistics, lead-time, price, compliance, risk and reliability. And it's in a constant state of flux as retailers, brands and manufactu...
- Outlook 2017 – What else is the industry watching?
- Outlook 2017 – What next for apparel sourcing?
- Outlook 2017 – Strategies for sourcing success
- Is China about to burst its apparel trade bubble?
- Outlook 2017 – Challenges and opportunities
- M&S quality focus finally lifts clothing sales
- MAS Holdings planning second industrial park
- 22 dos and dont's – When sourcing goes wrong
- Sri Lanka on track to regain EU GSP+ benefits
- Aéropostale to reopen 500 stores across the US
- Global apparel markets: product developments and innovations, October 2016
- Outdoor performance apparel 2016: A broader perspective
- Global market review of lingerie – forecasts to 2022
- Anti-odour clothing: fresh fashion for an active lifestyle
- Southeast Asia strategic sourcing review – a focus on Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar