November was a mixed month of sales for US apparel retailers

November was a mixed month of sales for US apparel retailers

November proved yet another mixed month for the handful of US apparel retailers still reporting their monthly comparable sales, as two firms reported negative monthly comps while the remainder managed to post growth.

Nebraska-based denim specialist The Buckle reported a 0.6% drop in same-store sales for the four weeks ended 1 December, compared to the same period last year. Buckle has posted negative same-store sales results in eight months of 2018. Net sales, however, grew 3.9% to US$81.3m from $78.3m in the prior year four-week fiscal month.

Meanwhile, value-priced fashion and accessories retailer Cato Corporation booked its third consecutive monthly result, with November comps falling 6%. This represents the firm's second negative monthly comp since April. Total company sales were down 4% to $59.4m.

"November same-store sales were disappointing and below our expectations," said John Cato, chairman, president, and CEO of Cato Corp.

Meanwhile, L Brands, owner of the Victoria's Secret, Pink and La Senza brands, turned in a 9% November comp – its tenth positive comp in the last 12 months. The Columbus-based chain also reported a 26% jump in net sales for the period with revenue reaching $1.6bn, up from $1.27bn last year.

Speciality apparel and footwear retailer Zumiez, meanwhile, booked a 2.3% comp sales rise. The Seattle-based chain was up against a tough 7.8% year-ago comparison. November marked Zumiez's 21st consecutive positive monthly comp. Total revenues for the month also increased, rising 9.4% year-on-year to $84.4m, compared to $77.1m for the four week period ended 25 November 2017.