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Same-Store Sales Stay Sluggish in February

Wal-Mart runs counter to trend with larger-than-expected growth, but many boomer and teen chains falter.

Still fearful of a recession, consumers cut back on spending, causing February same-store sales to remain sluggish across the board.

In the teen sector both American Eagle Outfitters and Abercrombie & Fitch missed expectations. The retailers reported decreases of 4 percent and 2 percent, respectively.

Baby boomer apparel remained a challenge, with Ann Taylor Stores down 1.7 percent and Chico’s FAS plunging 14.9 percent.

Gap said February comps were down 3 percent, as the company focused on driving margins over top line growth. Banana Republic fell 5 percent, while Old Navy slid 8 percent.

Limited Brands tanked 9 percent, as both the Bath & Body Works and Victoria’s Secret chains plummeted 10 percent.

It wasn’t all bad, though.

Wal-Mart topped Retail Metrics’ forecast of a 1 percent improvement, posting a 2.5 percent jump for the month.

Standouts included Aeropostale Inc., which reported a 7 percent increase, and Buckle, which soared 24.3 percent on top of a 7.8 percent increase last year. Pacific Sunwear of California shot up 6 percent.


For more, see Friday’s issue of WWD.



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