|Retailers see mixed bag in July sales|
|Monday, 06 August 2012 09:51 AM EDT|
U.S. retail stores saw mixed sales results in July largely due to store incentives. Same-store sales rose 4.3%, according to Thomson Reuters. Higher than June, the figure was less than the 5% rate in July of last year.
Stores like Target and Macy’s did well last month, but as a group, teen retailers performed poorly. July sales winners included Costco, Gap and American Eagle Outfitters.
While July is generally clearance-driven as stores make room for fall merchandise, it launches the back-to-school buying season, which is second in volume only to the Christmas season.
A survey of the International Council of Shopping Centers found that households plan to spend about $300 each this year for back-to-school merchandise, on average, up 42% from last year. Some 44% of respondents said they would spend the same as last year, and 14% indicated that they would spend less.
“Despite the relatively soft economic conditions over the last quarter, consumers view back-to-school merchandise as essential, which is likely a key reason that so many consumers plan to increase spending this year,” said Michael P. Niemira, ICSC’s chief economist and director of research. “Even more encouraging for retailers is that nearly 20% of respondents plan to increase spending by more than 10% compared to the 2011 season.”