Blog: Leonie BarrieWarm weather cools sales

Leonie Barrie | 15 October 2007

Many US apparel and footwear retailers would be among the first to disagree with the US Census Bureau, which on Friday said overall retail sales in September were 0.6% ahead of the pervious month and 5.0% up year-on-year.

Take some of the retailers who posted disappointing September sales data last Thursday. The Gap said same-store sales plunged 7%, Target was down 1.2%, Macy's Inc posted a 2.7% drop, and JC Penney suffered a 4.6% slump. The Wet Seal Inc reported a 7% fall in same-store sales, American Eagle Outfitters fell 2%, and Limited Brands dropped 4.4%.

Market constraints have been described by some as a “perfect storm” combination of abnormally warm weather for the time of year which stopped consumers shopping for coats and sweaters, rising food and energy prices, a continued sluggish housing marketing and tight credit.

The news is particularly discouraging as the holiday season fast approaches. If sales don't pick up, stores will be forced to slash prices to get rid of inventory and make room for the holiday and winter merchandise that will start to hit shelves later this month.

Retailers' September 2007 sales roundup


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