NEW YORK — Retail stocks took a nasty spill Monday after weekly sales reports signaled a rough September.
This story first appeared in the September 24, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
It was a tough day for the markets overall with the Standard & Poor’s retail index off 10.71 points, or 3.6 percent, to 283.76. Other indices dropped less dramatically: the Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 113.87 points, or 1.4 percent, to close at 7,872.15, and the broader Standard & Poor’s 500 slid 11.69 points, also 1.4 percent, to 833.70. The Nasdaq Composite staggered 36.16 points, or 3 percent, to 1,184.93 — its first closing below 1,200 since September 1996.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said after last week, its total comparable-store sales for September should be near the low end of its targeted 4 to 6 percent uptick. Growth in average ticket exceeded the growth in traffic for the week.
Federated Department Stores Inc., on its Web site, said September comps “will be at best toward the lower end of our expected 3 to 5 percent increase.” This goal, though, may still prove too high as the firm’s results “may fall slightly below that range.” Sears, Roebuck & Co. said its same-store sales continued to slide in the high single-digit range, while J.C. Penney Co.’s department stores continued on their path toward a flat to a slightly higher comp showing for the month.
Broadline retailers watching their shares descend included Sears, down $2.69, or 6 percent, to $42.12; Dillard’s, $1.44, or 5.9 percent, to $23.15; Nordstrom, $1.05, or 5.1 percent, to $19.55; May Department Stores, $1.20, or 4.6 percent, to $24.74; Federated, $1.29, or 3.7 percent, to $33.50; Kohl’s, $2.10, or 3 percent, to $67.45 and J.C. Penney, 1 cent, or 0.1 percent, to $18.25.
Discounters were also pinched with Target down $1.70, or 5.1 percent, to $31.96 and Wal-Mart off $2.10, or 3.8 percent, to $52.60.
Specialty stores enduring retreating stock prices included Chico’s, down $1, or 5.6 percent, to $17; Urban Outfitters, $1.38, or 5.5 percent, $23.59; Talbots, $1.56, or 4.8 percent, to $31.20; Ross, $1.94, or 4.9 percent, to $37.56; Abercrombie & Fitch, $1.07, or 4.6 percent, to $22.16; Pacific Sunwear, $1.03, or 4.3 percent, to $22.76; Wet Seal, 50 cents, or 4.3 percent, to $11.05, and Bebe, 57 cents, or 4 percent, to $13.63.
“The stock market is having a negative impact on consumer psychology,” which, in turn, curtails spending and further erodes the markets, said A.G. Edwards & Sons analyst Robert Buchanan. “The concern here is really that the cycle continues unabated and Christmas ends up even weaker than we’d thought going into this.”