Top 5 and Bottom 5 Retailers in August

Courtesy of Retail, Info Systems News

So, summer is coming to an end on several levels for retailers. How did they perform and position themselves heading into the final quarter of 2010?

Top Retailers in August

“August sales held up relatively well because shoppers’ intention to curb their spending plans was outweighed by their back-to-school needs, especially when they scrimped on meeting those needs a year ago,” says Frank Badillo, senior economist, for Kantar Retail.

Now for the top five and bottom five list.

Top 5 Retailers

Based on store sales for the month of August compared against sales for the same month a year ago the top five reporting retailers are:

Limited Brands +10%
Zumiez +9.1%
Stein Mart +8.5%
Costco +7
Nordstrom +6.3%

Breaking out Nordstrom’s numbers finds that its full line stores were strong at +7.8% as were direct/online sales at+3.7%, while sales at Nordstrom Rack were weak at -4.2%.

Stein Mart, according to J. Philip Leichliter, president of J. Philip Group, attributes the chain’s positive performance to “a clearance event” that accelerated in the last weekend of the month. Also sales of new product in a “reinvented home area were strong” and “ladies career and accessories business exceeded company trend.” Geographically, however, sales “continued to be weakest in California and the Gulf states.”

Bottom 5 Retailers

As mentioned, overall sales were fairly strong in August, so the bottom five retailers didn’t go as deeply into red numbers as we can expect to see in September when retailers start comparing to strong year-over-year months. Here are the bottom five retailers:

Bon Ton -4.6%
Hot Topic -3.7%
The Buckle -3.5%
Destination Maternity -3.2%
Aeropostale -1% (tied)
Rite Aid -1% (tied)

Overall, August was a good way for retailers to end the summer. “The sales-weighted composite for the 30 retailers reporting — most of them apparel retailers — was better than the 2.9% same-store sales gain last month,” says Frank Badillo of Kantar Retail. “The gain was also up from a 2.4% decline in August of 2009.”

Read the full article at Retail, Info Systems News

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