May Same-Store Sales Numbers

May is the first month for retailers reporting same-store sales since Wal-Mart opted to stop reporting the figure. Wal-Mart in recent years has often outperformed the competition and its weight in the index is such that a good or bad month by Wal-Mart could sway the overall retail figure much higher or lower than it would have been otherwise. As such, it shouldn't be a big surprise that without Wal-Mart's strong sales in the current climate, the May figures look pretty bad.

ICSC's index shows a 4.6 percent decline compared with the same period last year. (The report can be viewed here, membership required.) In contrast, in April retailers posted a same-stores sales gain of 0.7 percent over April 2008. Retail Forward's figure, meanwhile, (computed off 32 retailers) shows a 4.2 percent decline. Retail Forward's April results showed a 0.9 percent increase.

To account for Wal-Mart's exclusion, ICSC has furnished a table detailing the industry's results sans Wal-Mart. I've turned that into a line chart that you can see below. (Click on the thumbnail to see larger version).

Same-Store Sales

CNBC explores similar ground with this story, looking at how the statistics may now be skewed. With numbers like this, it might just be a matter of time before more retailers opt to stop reporting monthly results. You can also see CNBC's rundown of the sales results here. Reuters' summary of the results is here.

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