With Costco up over 7% today after its comparable same-store sales beat estimates, it’s a good time to take stock of how August retail has held up so far.
Numbers below are August year over year comparable sales growth vs. July year over year comparable sales growth and taken from WSJ monthly summaries.
Apparel: August saw a general improvement, but performance varied dramatically by brand. Abercrombie still getting killed while Aeropostale and Ross doing well.
- Abercrombie & Fitch -29% vs. -28%
- Aeropostale +9% vs. +6%
- Gap -3% vs. -8%
- Limited Brands -4% vs. -7%
- Ross Stores +6% vs. 4%
Discount: Holding the line basically. Less improvement here could be the result of consumers moving back up to pricier goods. BJ’s appears to be leading the pack here. Unfortunately Walmart no longer reports.
- BJ’s – Discount +2.2%** vs. +7%
- Costco – Discount 0%* vs. -5%
- Kohl’s – Discount +0.2% vs. +0.4%
Department Stores: Comps are getting better, but department stores still remain the relatively weaker players. With the exception of Target, does anyone still shop at these places?
- J.C. Penny -7.9% vs. -12.3%
- Macy’s -8.1% vs. -10.7%
- Target -2.9% vs. -6.5%
Luxury. Some might argue we’re seeing improvement, but we’d still say that effectively things are still looking waek for luxury.
- Neiman Marcus -16.6% vs. -27.3%
- Nordstrom -7.6% vs. -6.9%
- Saks -19.6% vs. -16.3%
All in all, generally improving August retail sales comps coincides with the improving consumer confidence we’ve seen and the improving US economy many suspect.
*Note the 0% Costco value was take from WSJ data used. They appear to have chose Costco’s US comparable sales ex-fuel and currency effects. Coscto just reported a 2% comps decline unadjusted.
**BJ’s is ex-fuel as per the WSJ data.