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August Retail Tally: Sales Down, But Many Beat Expectations

Several major retailers reported their August year-over-year, same-store sales figures this morning. As expected, the numbers were down compared with August of last year, but many were not down as far as forecasters expected.

Further optimism on these numbers can be taken from the following fact: Labor Day is in September this year, rather than in August. The Labor Day weekend is the biggest back-to-school shopping weekend, and it will show up on September's numbers this year, not August's.

Here's the tally of some of the majors:

-- Gap: Down 3 percent; forecasters expected a 7 percent drop. Led by its Old Navy franchise.

-- Target: Down 2.9 percent; forecasters expected a 5.1 percent drop. This is good news for Target, which had been losing "trade-down" business to Wal-Mart.

-- Kohl's: Up 0.2 percent; forecasters expected a 1.7 percent drop.

-- Nordstrom: Down 7.6 percent; forecasters expected a 9 percent drop. Pretty impressive for a luxe retailer in a recession.

There were three major retailers that actually performed worse than expectations:

-- J.C. Penney: Down 7.9 percent; forecasters expected a 6.7 percent drop.

-- Saks: Down 19.6 percent; forecasters expected a 14.1 percent drop.

-- Macy's: Down 8.1 percent; forecasters expected a 7.4 percent drop.

Saks, J.C. Penney and Macy's point to sector troubles -- a further decline in department store sales. But that leads to the question: What is Nordstrom doing right?

-- Frank Ahrens
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By Frank Ahrens  |  September 3, 2009; 1:24 PM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Gap, J.C. Penny, Kohl's, Macy's, Nordstrom, Saks, retail  
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Comments

Solution: Give all your cash to the women and go fishing while they shop. Catch dinner later. Is that too easy?

Posted by: Dermitt | September 3, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

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