U.S. retailers reported mixed results for June, with some stores benefiting from aggressive promotions and others hurt by consumers' continued restrained spending.
Retailers from department stores to teen retailers responded to limited demand with promotions that were reminiscent of 2009's holiday season. Big sales during June are common as retailers try to clear shelves for fall merchandise, especially back-to-school apparel. But a number of analysts are calling June's discounting steep.
"Many retailers pulled out all of the stops with respect to promos in June," said Brian Sozzi, retail analyst at Wall Street Strategies. "During our store walks throughout the month, the level of promotions picked up relative to previous months."
Retailers that surpassed analysts' expectations were mostly quiet about increasing their second-quarter guidance, raising questions about whether the promotions, while aiding sales, came at the cost of lower income for the items.
Retail Forward said sales rose 3.2 percent while Retail Metrics recorded the gain as 3.1 percent and ICSC estimated that sales rose 3.0 percent.
ICSC's tally shows that same-store sales rose 3.0 percent in June.
ICSC's numbers are based on 31 retailers. In the commentary in its monthly report, ICSC said:
The year‐over‐year arithmetic certainly was supportive of stronger looking gains for department stores which had very depressed business at the same time of the prior year. But seasonally‐hot weatherWeather Trends International reported that June was the second hottest June in, at least, the last 18 yearalso was a catalyst for summer apparel demand. JC Penney, for example, noted that its key apparel businesses showed even stronger underlying trends in the June period, with mid‐teen percentage increases in regular and promotional sales across men's, women's and children's apparel categories. These sharp sales gains were partially offset by lower clearance sales with less inventory to clear
Here are ICSC's monthly same-store sales year-over-year changes, not seasonally adjusted, going back to 1993.
(Click for larger image.)
Here is ICSC's index of same-store sales, seasonally adjusted, going back to 1992.
(Click for larger image.)
According to Retail Forward, sales-weighted same-store sales excluding Walmart increased 3.2 percent in March for the 31 retailers that reported numbers. (A pdf with each retailer's results can be downloaded here.) Frank Badillo, senior economist at Retail Forward, said in a statement, The June results are positive, but the recovery in retail sales will be challenged in the coming months as long as doubts grow among shoppers. And it's clear that the news from the Gulf to Europe is starting to affect the outlook among shoppers.
Retail Metrics, meanwhile, reported that same-store sales increased 3.1 percent.