Retail sales might not exactly be setting any blistering pace of growth, but Retail Metrics has a report out that shows a traffic boost at the end of July should offer a boost to retail same-store sales. The overall number ticked down 9 basis points to 1.4% growth, but this is a 110 basis point sequential improvement from a very weak performance in June.
What the report shows is that there has been a significant deceleration taking place as GDP has slowed down. Retail Metrics’ Ken Perkins noted that July lacks catalysts and he called it the least important month of the quarter for most retailers as this is a clearance and transitional month for them. He also noted that consumer sentiment hit a 2012 low in July, and also that gasoline prices have been creeping higher.
Walgreen Co. (NYSE: WAG) is expected to show -4.5%, and there has been a 20 basis point decline in discount retailers as estimates for Fred’s Inc. (NASDAQ: FRED), Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST) and Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) have pulled back. We now have a slight dip of 10 basis points more to 40 basis points from the start of the month in department stores, with Nordstrom Inc. (NYSE: JWN) dipping a bit further since its anniversary sale will hurt July but help August. On the other hand, Kohl’s Corp. (NYSE: KSS) is expected to show a 0.2% gain in same-store sales, and that would be a significant jump from the -4.2% it saw in June.
The companies that Retail Metrics sees with a 10% gain in same-store sales for July is as follows: Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: KORS) at +34.6%; Conns Inc. (NASDAQ: CONN) at +14.4%; Lululemon Athletica Inc. (NASDAQ: LULU) at +13.2%; and Franchesca’s Holding Corporation (NASDAQ: FRAN) at +10.7%. Big losers are expected to be JCPenney Co. (NYSE: JCP) at -15.6% and Wet Seal Inc. (NASDAQ: WTSLA) at -13.7%.
JON C. OGG