Thursday, July 7, 2011

Retail sales up in June

With all the glum news we've been bombarded with lately - weak job growth, rising food and fuel prices, the failure of a movie featuring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts - June retail sales are a lonely bright spot.

Ken Perkins, a consultant with Retail Metrics, reported Thursday that sales rose more than expected at nearly all of the stores his firm tracks. Sales at stores open a year or more - a key measure of retail health - rose 7.2 percent compared to June last year.

"Wide spread and deep promotions coupled with hot weather and falling gas prices led to much better than expected June same store sales," Perkins wrote.

The discount segment still led sales, with a 10.1 percent jump. Costco's sales jumped 14 percent (8 percent excluding gas), while BJ's saw a 7.3 percent increase.  Target turned in a 4.5 percent gain.

High-end retailers also saw a large increase: Saks posted an 11.9 percent gain and  Nieman-Marcus' sales climbed 12.5 percent.

Department stores saw a 5.9 percent gain, and teen apparel retailer sales increased 7.2 percent. Locally, Charlotte-based apparel retailer Cato reported that sales inched up about 1 percent compared to the same period last year.

Perkins said the coming summer will be a test for retailers.

"Looking ahead to July and beyond, retailers have their work cut out for them.  Clearance inventories of summer related merchandise have largely been sold through," he wrote. "Retailers will be looking to sell fresh merchandise...and pull back a bit from the deep discounts we witnessed in June. The key question looms as to what extent will the vast majority of consumers in the middle-to-low income space be willing to pay full price in July."


Dollar Store Profits said...

That's great news. Everyone is pressured these days on the news of shrinking economy.