By  on October 8, 2010

BEST OF THE MONTH: After ranking second with its 9.1 percent same-store sales increase in August, Zumiez Inc. skated its way to the top with a 17 percent surge, prompting the retailer to raise third-quarter earnings guidance.

WORST OF THE MONTH: Gap Inc.’s comp decline registered 2 percent, weighed down by Old Navy’s 5 percent September swoon.

BIGGEST UPSIDE: Abercrombie & Fitch Co. was penciled in for a 3.6 percent increase by Thomson Reuters, but finished the month with a 13 percent pickup versus an 18 percent contraction in last year’s month, a 31 point reversal. Close behind, Buckle Inc. rose 3 percent but was expected to drop 4.7 percent.

BIGGEST DOWNSIDE: Gap was expected to finish flat and came in with a 2 percent decline, while Target Corp., up 1.3 percent, fell short of the 1.9 percent estimate assigned to it.

SECTOR OF THE MONTH: All department stores tracked by WWD finished with increases of at least 1.8 percent, and strong results among luxury merchants, led by Nordstrom Inc., lifted the sectoral average to an increase of 4.7 percent.

BIGGEST SWINGS: Abercrombie & Fitch’s 31 point shift led the pack, while Neiman Marcus Inc. and Saks Inc. impressed with respective improvements of 22.3 and 18.1 points.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Macy’s Inc. ceo Terry Lundgren again lauded the effectiveness of the “My Macy’s localization initiatives” in his company’s Thursday news release.

FACE OFF: J.C. Penney Co. Inc. had the satisfaction of pulling in a better monthly comp performance than Kohl’s Corp., taking the midtier matchup by a margin of 5.1 percent to 3 percent.

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