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Men’s Sales a Mixed Bag in October

Discounters like Wal-Mart fare the best as department and luxury retailers struggle against consumer pullback.

A HotTopic store.

NEW YORK — Despite dismal same-store-sales numbers across the board for the month of October, the men’s business continued to perform well at stores like Saks Fifth Avenue, Kohl’s, Aéropostale and American Eagle. 

The picture wasn’t as bright at Zumiez and Pacific Sunwear, which reported challenges in the men’s category last month. 

Overall, department stores were the most affected by the daunting economic environment and recent consumer spending slowdown, with luxury stores also taking a hit. 

“The numbers were modestly worse than people feared,” said Amy Noblin, managing director at Pali Capital. “October is a small month, which makes it hard to extrapolate, but it’s no secret that the environment rapidly deteriorated during the month.” 

Upscale department stores like Saks, which posted a 16.6 percent decline, were the hardest hit. However, the New York–based retailer said men’s contemporary apparel and men’s shoes were some of its strongest categories during the month, while men’s clothing was among the weakest performers, along with women’s apparel, jewelry and handbags.

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