Retails sales for the month of June are expected to show only modest growth according to research firm Retail Metrics Inc. June is not a particularly good month for most retailers, and this year stores have to compare sales to June 2011 when the sales growth over June 2010 averaged a phenomenal 7.2%.
Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST), for example is up against a 14% same-store sales rise in 2011. Limited Brands Inc. (NYSE: LTD) and Saks Inc. (NYSE: SKS) face comparable store growth of 12%, Buckle Inc. (NYSE: BKE) will be compared to 11% growth last year, Zumiez Inc. (NASDAQ: ZUMZ) goes against a 10% growth rate, Nordstrom Inc. (NYSE: JWN) jumped 8% last year, and Kohl’s Corp. (NYSE: KSS) grew 7.5% in June 2011.
Some retailers have projected big numbers for the second quarter, including June. Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: KORS) expects second quarter same-store sales to jump 35% and the company raised second quarter guidance. Lululemon Athletica Inc. (NASDAQ: LULU) and Francesca’s Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ: FRAN) are expecting low double-digit sales growth in the second quarter, while Zumiez expects growth of 8%-10%, mainly related to the acquisition of Blue Tomato stores.
Stores expecting less good news include Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE: ANF), which posted a -5% comparable store sales rate in the first quarter continues to close stores. DSW Inc. (NYSE: DSW) expects same store sales growth of 2%-4%, way below of growth in the past 10 quarters, while Bed, Bath & Beyond Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBY) posted growth of 3% for its second quarter, but missed EPS expectations. Body Central Corp. (NASDAQ: BODY) has said only that sales have been soft since April.
With consumer confidence weakening, job growth declining, and unemployment no better than stable, retailers could be in for a tough summer.