February Same-Store Sales Reports Look Grim

Paul Ausick

Retailers reporting February same-store sales Thursday are expected to show a rise of 1.8% compared with sales in February 2016.

Industry research firm Retail Metrics noted that same-store sales growth last February amounted to a gain of just 0.1%, so the year-over-year comparison should be a piece of cake. Initial estimates for the month topped 3%, so the lowered expectations may even be exceeded.

Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) is expected to report same-store sales next week and post a decrease of 0.7% across all its store brands, with Banana Republic store sales dropping 6%.

Here are results from the stores we track:

Buckle Inc. (NYSE: BKE) reported same-store sales for February fell 23.2% compared with the same month a year ago. The Retail Metrics estimate called for sales to drop 12.9%. Net sales for all stores fell 23.3% and totaled $62.8 million for the month.

Buckle’s shares traded up about 2% at $19.45 early in Thursday’s session. The stock’s 52-week range is $18.30 to $35.02.

Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST) is scheduled to report fourth-quarter earnings after markets close Thursday. The announcement typically includes same-store sales data. Retail Metrics has estimated a year-over-year gain of 4% and a gain of 2.9% excluding gasoline sales.

Costco shares traded down fractionally Thursday morning at $177.20, after having closed at $177.86 on Wednesday. The stock’s 52-week range is $138.57 to $78.71, a new high posted on Wednesday.

L Brands Inc. (NYSE: LB) said same-store sales for February decreased 13% compared with last year’s sales. Retail Metrics had estimated that sales would tumble 15.8%. L Brands operates Victoria’s Secret, Pink, Bath & Body Works, La Senza, and Henri Bendel stores. Net sales for all stores fell 10% to $765.5 million in February.

L Brands’ shares traded up about 1% to $53.37. The stock’s 52-week range is $47.93 to $88.77.