US retailers posted a mixed bag of results in April

US retailers posted a mixed bag of results in April

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

Music influenced apparel retailer Hot Topic Inc has reported a 12.5% drop in its same-store sales results for April. Comps were down 15.4% at the Hot Topic stores and fell by 2.7% at the Torrid chain. Total sales were down 10.1% to $42.5m, the company said today (7 May).

At Zumiez Inc, which specialises in action sports related apparel and footwear, total sales for the four weeks to 1 May increased 7.8% to $25.7m. The company's comparable store sales were up 2.1%, compared with a decline of 13.8% in the same period a year ago.

Stage Stores Inc said its total sales fell 5.8% to $101m from $108m last time. Comparable store sales were down 8.3%. The company operates 774 stores under the Bealls, Goody's, Palais Royal, Peebles and Stage names.

Net sales at maternity apparel retailer Destination Maternity Corporation were "weaker than planned" in the month of April, dropping 2.2% to $48.8m, down from $49.9m a year ago. A 6.3% drop in same-store sales was partially offset by increased leased department sales due to the re-launch of the Two Hearts Maternity collection in Sears and Kmart.

Youth retailer The Buckle Inc posted a 1.1% drop in net sales for the four-weeks to 1 May, falling to $58.4m from $59.1m a year earlier. Comparable store sales fell 5.7%. Headquartered in Kearney, Nebraska, Buckle operates 412 retail stores.

The Wet Seal Inc, which sells fashion for young women, blamed the early Easter holiday and softer than expected sales at both Wet Seal and Arden B in the remainder of the month, for its 6.1% drop in same-store sales. Total revenues fell 4.7% to $39.0m.

Limited Brands Inc,operator of Victoria's Secret, Pink and La Senza, reported a comparable store sales increase of 4% in April. The company reported net sales of $584.6m, a drop of 10% on last year's $531.2m.

Stein Mart Inc said the early Easter shifted pre-holiday selling into March, which meant its total April sales were down 7.4% to $92.9m, from $100.3m a year ago. Same-stores sales fell 5.4%. Ladies' dresses and men's sportswear saw positive comparable store sales, the retailer said.

Abercrombie & Fitch posted an 8% rise in net sales to $214.3m, up from $199.1m last year. But comparable store sales fell 7%. Same-store sales were down 7% at both Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister Co, and fell 5% at Abercrombie kids. Direct-to-consumer sales increased 50% to $23.1m and international sale jumped 94% to $40.0m.

Specialty apparel retailer Gap Inc posted a 3% drop in April same-store sales, as revenues fell across all its brands and international unit. By division, April comparable store sales fell 6% at Gap North America, were down 2% at Banana Republic North America, and fell 1% at Old Navy North America. International sales were 5% lower than last year. Net sales for the four weeks to 1 May were flat at $1.05bn.

At youth apparel retailer American Eagle Outfitters Inc, total sales slipped 1% to to $192m from $194m. Same-store sales decreased 6% for the month, compared to a drop of 5% a year earlier.

Aeropostale Inc, which sells casual and active apparel for young women and men, reported a 0.4% slip in total sales for the month to 1 May to $137.2m. Same store sales were down 5%. The Easter calendar shift was to blame, the company said, adding that its merchandise margins for the month were significantly higher than last year.

The Cato Corporation, operator of the Cato and It's Fashion stores, saw its sales slip 7% to $74.1m in April, down from $79.4m in the same month last year. Comparable store sales also dropped 7%. The shift of Easter sales to March hit revenues, the company said, but added: "April sales were above our expectations."

At specialty fashion retailer Nordstrom Inc same-store sales rose 7.5% in the month to 1 May. Total retail sales jumped 13.3% to $636m, up from $561m last time.

Sales were also up at Ross Stores Inc, which posted a 7% rise to $570m from $534m a year ago. Comparable store sales grew 3%. The Easter calendar shift and unseasonably cool and wet weather hurt results, the company said.

April sales at The Bon-Ton Stores Inc were on plan, the department store retailer said, with total sales dropping 5.2% to $189.1m, down from $199.4m last time. Comparable store sales fell 5.0%. Moderate missy and petite sportswear, intimate apparel and shoe were among its best performing businesses.

Total and comparable store sales at Dillard's Inc dropped 5%, the retailer said, with both impacted by the Easter calendar shift. Merchandise sales were down to $406.3m from $429.3m a year ago. The sales performance in the juniors' and children's apparel category were singled out as "significantly below trend."

Department store retailer Macy's Inc saw its total sales rise 2.8% to $1.74bn for the four-week period, up from $1.691bn a year ago. On a same-store basis, sales were up 1.1%. Bloomingdale's and all eight Macy's regions were "at or above expectations for sales in April," the company said.

The TJX Companies Inc also saw revenue gains in April, with sales up 10% to $1.6bn from $5.0bn a year earlier. Comparable store sales were at the high end of expectations, increasing by 4%. The offprice retailer said unseasonably cool and wet weather in several US regions dampened demand for spring apparel in the second half of April.

Department store retailer JC Penney Company Inc reported that its comparable store sales fell 3.3% for the four weeks ended 1 May, while total sales were down 3.7%. Sales reflected a shift of pre-Easter selling into the March period. Women's accessories, shoes and handbags, and men's were the top performing merchandise divisions.

At Saks Incorporated, owned sales rose 3.4% in April to $246.9m, up from $238.7m in the same month last year. Comparable store sales were up 3.2%. The strongest categories at Saks Fifth Avenue stores included women's apparel, shoes and men's clothing.

The timing of Easter contributed to a 5% drop in total sales at Kohl's Corporation. On a comparable store basis, sales fell 7.7%. The company, which operates 1,067 stores, said footwear, women's and men's achieved the strongest comparable store sales performance during the month.

Target Corporation reported that its net retail sales were down 3.5% to $4.29bn, falling from $4.45bn a year ago. April comparable-store sales fell 5.9%, with strong demand in higher margin categories, the retailer said.