(Filed Under Financial and General Interest News). Shopping continued to slow last month as most retailers cited only slight increases from May 2009. According to The New York Times, many analysts speculated that poor weather at the beginning of May coupled with a late Memorial Day—which pushed the holiday weekend’s sales for some retailers into June—may have driven the weak gains.
Thomas Reuters reported that retail sales increased 2.5 percent during May 2010 from May 2009, when the industry posted a 4.7 percent decline. This was an increase over this April’s sales, which increased a modest 0.5 percent, but lower than the 3.3 percent increase and 4 percent increases reported in January and February, respectively.
However, discount chains reported strong sales, and the apparel market performed better than analysts expected, according to Thomas Reuters. The TJX Companies, Inc., the parent company of off-price chains T.J. Maxx, Marshall’s, HomeGoods and A.J. Wright, cited an 8 percent net sales gain, to $1.6 billion from $1.5 billion, and a 4 percent comparable store sales gain. Carol Meyrowitz, president and chief executive officer of the company, called these comparable store sales results “above our expectations.”
Kohl’s Corporation cited a 6.6 percent increase in total sales and a 3.5 percent increase in comparable store sales, higher than the company had expected. J.C. Penney Company’s sales decreased 2.1 percent and comparable store sales decreased 1.8 percent: in line with the company’s expectations.
In the high-end market, retailers continued to rebound. Nordstrom Inc. reported comparable store sales of 3.7 percent and net sales of 7.8 percent. Saks Inc. and Neiman Marcus reported comparable store sales increases of 5.8 percent and 7.8 percent, respectively.
Limited Brands, the parent company of Victoria’s Secret and La Senza, a Canadian intimate apparel brand, reported a 5 percent comparable store sales increase.
The teen retail market was once again among the worst performing sectors, with Abercrombie & Fitch and Hot Topic comparable store sales down 3 percent and 9 percent, respectively. However, Abercrombie & Fitch also cited a 10 percent net sales increase during the month, driven by direct-to-consumer sales increasing 34 percent and international sales up 84 percent. Hot Topic’s net sales dropped 7.4 percent.
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