Upside Surprise for Retailers

by: SA Editor Mohit Manghnani

Retailers showed surprising strength in August sales, as aggressive discounting helped a majority of retailers beat expectations during the key back-to-school buying season. Though underlying weakness in consumer spending remains, the data provides a glimmer of hope that the economy may not be stalled as badly as some had thought.

Overall: Same-store sales +2.5% for the month, a marked improvement from last year's -2.9% and slightly below the +2.7% registered in July.

August same-store sales:

Company Symbol Actual Consensus
Abercrombie ANF +6.0% +5.7%
Aeropostale ARO -1.0% +1.3%
American Eagle AEO +1.0% +1.1%
BJ's Wholesale BJ +2.4% +3.1%
Bon-Ton Stores BONT -4.6% 0%
Cato Corp CATO +2.0% -0.8%
Costco COST +7.0% +4.3%
Dillard's DDS 0% -0.5%
Fred's FRED +3.6% +3.5%
Gap Inc GPS 0% -0.5%
Hot Topic HOTT -3.7% -6.0%
JC Penney JCP +2.3% +1.7%
Kohl's KSS +4.5% +2.6%
Limited LTD +10.0% +7.3%
Macy's M +4.3% +3.7%
Nordstrom JWN +6.3% +5.8%
Ross Stores ROST +5.0% +3.5%
Saks SKS +1.0% +4.0%
Stage Stores SSI +0.5% +1.5%
Stein Mart SMRT +8.5% 0%
Target TGT +1.8% +2.0%
The Buckle BKE -3.5% -6.8%
TJX Cos TJX +2.0% +2.3%
Wet Seal WTSLA +1.1% -3.5%
Zumiez Inc ZUMZ +9.1% +7.6%
Click to enlarge

Summary: 8 misses and 17 beats