Retailers look to benefit from this year’s early Easter when it comes to March sales.
Thomson Reuters released their preview for March retail same-store sales and they expect the index to increase 1.5 percent, an improvement over last year’s growth of 1 percent.
Thomson noted that in addition to Easter benefiting sales, demand for fashion trends were strong leading up to Easter and selling mostly at full-price.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters overall expect the apparel sector to report a negative 2 percent for same-store sales, much lower than last year’s 4.9 percent growth. The Gap Stores are heavily weighted in the index and they’re bringing the group down with a negative 4.3 percent estimate for same-store sales. If you remove Gap from the list, apparel actually improves 1.1 percent, but it’s still lower than last year’s 8.6 percent sans Gap.
L Brands, home of Victoria’s Secret, has the strongest result of the group with a 2 percent improvement for March, but this is off from last year’s gain of 9 percent. Cato Corporation had a strong March last year with sales growth of 12 percent, but this year they are expected to deliver negative 1 percent same store sales.
Teen retailers continue to struggle with The Buckle being the weakest of the group as Thomson expects its same store sales to drop 6.7 percent versus last year’s negative 0.5 percent. Zumiez also has a big bar to overcome with sales expected to have declined 5.3 percent versus last year’s gain of 5.5 percent.
Retailers have been giving negative guidance and as a result analysts have been lowering their earnings estimates. The Thomson Quarterly Same Store Sales Index that is made up of 80 retailers is only expected to register 1.4 percent growth versus last year’s growth of 1.6 percent.