Blog: US retail slide slows in August

Joe Ayling | 7 September 2009

Fears that back-to-school revenues might fail the apparel and footwear sector this year were somewhat allayed by better-than-expected August retail sales announcements last week.

Although sales increases were few and far between during August, retailers managed to slow the pace of monthly sales declines that have plagued the year so far.

Prior to Thursday's results, the National Retail Federation (NRF) predicted that back-to-school spending would slump 7.7% for the July to September period.

However, with Labour Day pushed into September and competition for consumer spend from the "cash for clunkers" automotive programme rife, it seems the class of 2009 deserves some credit.

A better-than expected August brings some hope that after 12 consecutive monthly sales declines the US economy is showing signs of stabilising. If so, the leaner inventory positions many have worked so hard to achieve would be short-lived.

Nevertheless, only a small minority of fashion retailers, including Aeropostale, Ross Stores and The TJX Companies, managed to actually increase sales revenue when compared to August 2008.

All three likely benefited from their affordability, while more upmarket operators including Saks Incorporated and Abercrombie & Fitch suffered most during the month.

As the NRF noted last week, the focus for US shoppers is primarily on price, explaining why strong promotions and deep discounts were 'best in class' during August.

By Joe Ayling, news editor.


BLOG

Trump trade probe could have costs for cotton

An International Trade Commission hearing got underway last week as part of the Trump administration's probe into China's intellectual property practices under Section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act. The a...

BLOG

Stop negotiating and bring in the engineers

Surviving in a declining market is the biggest challenge for discount/mass-market retailers and suppliers of commodity products such as basic T-shirts, hoodies or cotton men's shirts – which is why it...

BLOG

The implications of buyer purchasing practices

New research has delved into one relatively underexplored aspect of global supply chains: how buyer purchasing practices impact wages and working conditions....

BLOG

just-style readership survey 2017 – Final reminder

We’re currently carrying out a survey to get a better understanding of the issues that matter the most to our readers, and how we can better serve you in the future. ...

just-style homepage



Forgot your password?