US retailers posted a mixed bag of results in May

US retailers posted a mixed bag of results in May

The following is a general roundup of US apparel and shoe chains' May 2010 sales results. The list will be updated as new results become available.

Action sportswear retailer Zumiez Inc has posted a 12.1% rise in sales to $26.3m for the four weeks to 29 May, up from $23.5m in the same period last year. The company, which operates 384 stores, said its same-store sales increased 7.1% - against a drop of 20.7% a year ago.

At Hot Topic Inc, which sells music-influenced apparel, sales slipped 7.4% to $42.6m, on declines at both its Hot Topic and Torrid chains. Comparable store sales were down 9%, with a 9.6% drop at Hot Topic and a fall of 7.4% at Torrid. The company operates 681 Hot Topic stores and 155 Torrid stores.

Maternity wear retailer Destination Maternity Corporation saw its net sales rise 1.6% to $52.2m, from $51.3m a year ago, helped by demand for its Two Hearts Maternity collection in Sears and Kmart. Same-store sales dropped 3.9%, which the company blamed on a calendar timing shift.  

For Houston-based Stage Stores Inc, the month of May brought a 0.6% drop in total sales, slipping to $116m from $117m in the prior year period. Comparable store sales fell 2.9% this year versus a decrease of 7.2% last year. Footwear, swimwear, children's, junior's, men's and young men's were among the best performing categories at the company's Bealls, Goody's, Palais Royal, Peebles and Stage stores.

The Buckle Inc reported a 0.4% fall in net sales to $60.3m for the four weeks to 29 May, down from $60.6m last time. Same-store sales, for stores open at least one year, dropped 5.4%. Buckle operates 412 retail stores.

Fashion retailer The Wet Seal Inc said May comparable store sales results were within its expectations after they fell 5.3%, with a drop of 4.6% at Wet Seal and a 7.8% decline at Arden B. Total sales were down 4.3% to $40.2m. Unfavourable weather and a pause after strong buying by shoppers earlier in the year, were blamed.

Limited Brands Inc, which operates the Victoria's Secret, Pink and La Senza chains, said its net sales were $657.3m in May, a rise of 6.2% on last year's $618.7m. Same-store sales increased 5%.

Value-priced women's fashion retailer The Cato Corporation said its sales rose 4% to $80.9m for the month of May, up from $78.1m a year earlier. Same-store sales were up 3%. The one-week shift in the Memorial Day holiday helped this month's revenues, the company said.

But off-price fashion retailer Stein Mart Inc saw total sales fall 6.3% in May to $98.7m, down from $105.3m last time. Same-store sales were down 4.5%. For May, ladies' dresses and Boutique saw positive comparable stores' sales, while casual sportswear had much weaker trends.

Specialty clothing retailer Gap Inc posted a 1% rise in same-store sales in May, with growth across all divisions except its namesake chain. Net sales were up 2% in the four weeks to 29 May, climbing to $1.05bn from $1.03bn a year earlier. By division, same-store sales fell 2% at Gap North America, and rose 1% at both Banana Republic North America and Old Navy North America. International sales climbed 8%.

Abercrombie & Fitch booked a 10% rise in net sales to $197.6m, up from last May's $179.0m. But it said comparable store sales decreased 3%. For the fiscal month, direct-to-consumer net merchandise sales increased 34% to $19.2m and international sales surged 84% to $36.9m. Same-store sales were up 2% at Abercrombie & Fitch, but fell 10% and 6% at Abercrombie Kids and Hollister Co respectively.

At teen retailer Aeropostale Inc total net sales increased 7% to $141.6m, compared with $132.9m a year ago. The company's same store sales increased 1% for the month, versus a rise of 19% in the year ago period. The Memorial Day calendar shift had a negative impact, the company said, but added that merchandise margins "increased significantly."

Meanwhile another teen retailer, American Eagle Outfitters, reported a 3% drop in May same-store sales. Total sales dipped 1% to $193m, down from $196m the year before.

Specialty fashion retailer Nordstrom Inc said its same-store sales rose 3.7% in the four-week period. Total retail sales were $705m, an increase of 7.8% on last year's $653m. Multi-channel same-store sales were hit by the later timing of its half-yearly sale for women and kids, Nordstrom said.

Ross Stores Inc, the off-price retailer, posted a 9% rise in sales to $614m, up from $564m last May. Comparable store sales for the month grew 5% on top of a 4% gain in the prior year period. The company, which has 967 Ross Dress for Less stores and 54 dd's Discounts locations, said dresses and home were the strongest merchandise categories.

For department store retailer The Bon-Ton Stores Inc, total sales for fiscal May dropped 1.3% to $186.5m compared with $188.9m a year ago. Same-store sales decreased 1.1%. Unseasonable weather in early May and the Memorial Day shift were blamed. Best performing categories were children's, moderate missy, petites and large size sportswear.

Net retail sales at Target Corporation rose 3.7% to $4.6bn, up from $4.46bn a year earlier. May comparable-store sales increased 1.3%, but came in "somewhat below our expectation," the company said. Target operates 1,740 stores.

Merchandise sales at Dillard's Inc slipped 0.8% to $426.5m, from $430.1m last time. Sales in comparable stores were unchanged, the retailer said.

Macy's Inc reported total sales of $1.79bn for the four weeks to 29 May, a rise of 2.6% on last year's $1.744bn. On a same-store basis, Macy's sales were up 1.4%. The retailer said customers are responding to spring fashions at Macy's and Bloomingdale's. Online sales were up 23.2% in the month.

At off-price retailer The TJX Companies Inc, May sales were $1.6bn, up 8% over the $1.5bn achieved a year earlier. Comparable store sales beat expectations with a rise of 4%. Sales picked up "substantially" in the second half of the month as the weather turned warmer, the company said.

Kohl's Corporation booked a 6.6% rise in total sales for May, climbing to $1.34bn from $1.26bn the year before. On a comparable store basis, sales increased 3.5% - with footwear the best performer.

Another department store retailer, JC Penney Company Inc, posted a 2.1% drop in sales in May, down to $1.23bn from $1.25bn last time. Same-store sales fell 1.8%. Men's, women's accessories, and shoes and handbags were the top performing merchandise divisions.

While Saks Incorporated said owned sales totalled $177.4m for May, a 6.9% increase on last year's $166.0m. Comparable store sales were up 5.8% for the month. For May, the strongest categories at Saks Fifth Avenue stores were women's apparel, shoes, handbags, and accessories and men's tailored clothing and accessories.

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