(Filed Under Financial and General Interest News). April sales did not sustain March’s momentum. According to Reuters, sales at stores open at least one year rose 0.5 percent in April, short of Wall Street estimates of a 1.7 percent increase. Analysts attributed these lower-than-expected results to Easter falling early this year, causing consumers to hit the shops in March, and pull back on spending in April.
Although they often fell short of expectations, comparable store sales rose at several retail chains. Limited Brands, Inc. the parent company of Victoria’s Secret, posted a 4 percent increase. Luxury department store chains Saks, Inc., Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus cited gains of 3.4 percent, 7.5 percent and 10.9 percent, respectively. Macy’s, which runs the Macy’s mid-tier chain and the Bloomingdale’s upper-tier chains, reported a 1.1 percent increase.
The discount department store industry, which was the winner during last year’s recession, posted disappointing comparable store sales last month. Although TJX, Inc., the parent company of the TJ Maxx chain, which sells apparel including intimate apparel at discount prices, posted a 4 percent gain, competitors J.C. Penney and Kohl’s cited decreases of 3.3 percent and 7.7 percent, respectively. Target posted a 5.9 percent drop.
In the junior market, Abercrombie & Fitch, owner of the Gilly Hicks intimate apparel chain, posted a 7 percent decrease in comparable store sales, while Hot Topic posted a 12.5 percent decrease.
Comparable store sales at the Gap dropped three percent.
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