Retailers managed increases despite spotty traffic in June as consumers responded to promotions and more seasonal weather.
Among stores filing June sales results Thursday morning, Costco Wholesale Corp. registered the strongest increase, up 6 percent versus expectations of a 5.4 percent gain among analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. Wholesale clubs regularly were cited among the stronger distribution channels in the International Council of Shopping Centers’ weekly sales reports.
L Brands came in short of consensus estimates for a 3.1 percent advance for the month with a 2 percent increase. While Victoria’s Secret stores gained 3 percent, just under the 3.2 percent increase expected, Bath & Body Works was more significantly below anticipated growth of 3.3 percent with its 1 percent increase. Victoria’s Secret Direct was up 6 percent for the month.
Increases at Victoria’s Secret stores were driven by lingerie and Pink, the company said. Throughout the company, merchandise margins were down for the month while inventory per square foot fell 2 percent from a year ago. Amie Preston, chief investor relations officer, described inventories as “very clean.”
Stein Mart Inc. fell short of an anticipated increase of 3 percent with a 2.6 percent uptick. The firm said that stores in Florida, the Carolinas and California enjoyed the strongest sales trends while units in the Gulf States and Texas were “more challenged.”
Cato Corp. was up 3 percent last month, above the estimated 1 percent decline expected on average by analysts.
Teen retailers The Buckle Inc. and Zumiez Inc. registered gains of 0.7 and 3.1 percent, respectively. Analysts had expected a 0.6 percent decline at Buckle and a 1.8 percent increase at Zumiez.
Gap Inc. reports its June sales results after the markets close today. The Thomson Reuters estimate is for a companywide gain of 0.7 percent, with Gap brand off 0.7 percent, Old Navy up 0.1 percent and Banana Republic up 2.3 percent.
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