Blog: September sales eke out gain
Leonie Barrie | 9 October 2009
On the first anniversary since the sector went into freefall following the collapse of the world’s financial markets in September 2008, it’s perhaps not surprising that US apparel retailers yesterday (8 October) posted monthly same-store sales results that in many cases marked their first gains in a year.
Helped by aggressive promotional activity, stronger autumn fashions and cooler weather in many areas, a later Labor Day weekend which pushed some back-to-school sales from August to September, and of course strong comparisons with a year ago, retailers could be forgiven for thinking shoppers are finally getting back their appetites to spend.
Figures from consultancy and research firm Retail Forward said retail same-store sales results excluding Walmart rose 0.8% in September – beating the decline of 2.5% last month and 0.5% in September 2008.
But amid lots of talk about a recovery, the evidence shows consumers are still watching their wallets, favouring value retailers such as Kohl's Corp, Target Corp, TJX and Ross Stores. Likewise, the value message at Gap Inc’s Old Navy chain also seems to have hit home, with same-store sales up 13%.
Other apparel and accessory stores, including Limited Brands, owner of lingerie chain Victoria’s Secret, and teen clothing retailer Aeropostale also did better than expected.
But things aren’t looking so bright, though, at upmarket department stores like Saks and Neiman Marcus, where same-store sales took yet another tumble.
And industry experts have cautioned against reading too much into the results, with spending likely to remain restrained for the month ahead, as well as for Halloween and the December holidays.
“September’s numbers are a good sign that retail sales are on a path to recovery,” said Frank Badillo, senior economist at Retail Forward.
“But it will be a slow, bumpy road as shoppers are cautious about easing the grip on their spending plans.”
Some of just-style’s more eagle-eyed readers might have noticed a small change to the menu bar on the homepage: the addition of the word re:source. Yes it might be a small change – but it marks the co...
Over the past week just-style has continued to try to unravel the potential ramifications of Donald Trump’s election as the next president of the United States....
One event dominated the international airwaves last week, and on just-style too we took a closer look at the surprise election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States....
As the Brexit roller-coaster continues to twist and turn, and the US presidential election campaign nears its unpredictable and possibly protectionist end, there's no doubt these events – and the perc...
- Steps to piloting living wage in garment factories
- How to ensure sustainability is more than a slogan
- Trump blows the case for Brexit out of the water
- US apparel retailers' November 2016 sales roundup
- Duty-free trade key to build Africa supply chains
- US Q3 in brief – Destination Maternity, Cherokee
- Esquel efficiency drive continues to boost brands
- Taiwan textile maker investing in first US plant
- Outdoor apparel sector set for double-digit growth
- Myanmar garment industry "lacking labour rights"