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WRAPUP 1-U.S. retailers' September sales up before holiday rush
2012年10月4日 / 下午3点37分 / 5 年前

WRAPUP 1-U.S. retailers' September sales up before holiday rush

* Same-store sales up 3.6 percent - Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S
    * Sales at Costco, Gap and others top expectations
    * Macy's, Target, Kohl's among those missing analysts'

    By Jessica Wohl
    Oct 4 (Reuters) - September sales at U.S. retailers looked
solid, not stellar, on Thursday as shoppers finished up their
back-to-school buying and put the brakes on more big spending
before the holiday season.
    Overall, sales were in line with expectations. Among the
largest retailers, Costco Wholesale Corp and apparel
retailer Gap Inc beat analysts' estimates, while
department store chain Kohl's Corp missed them.
    The mixed sales results fit in with mixed economic data.
Higher gasoline prices and uncertainty about the upcoming
election may weigh on shoppers' minds, but consumer sentiment
hit a four-month peak in September. 
    And a report out on Thursday showed that while the number of
Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits last week
had risen less than expected, the jobless rate remained at about
8 percent. 
    "I think a lot of people are holding their breath now
waiting for an election, and a lot of it is going to be focused
on the economy," said John Rooney, national retail &
distribution sector lead for Deloitte Consulting. "Then you'll
see that once it clears up, November should be good, and
December should be good."
    Sales at stores open at least a year at 17 chains tracked by
Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S rose 3.6 percent, matching analysts'
expectations. In September 2011, such sales rose 6.4 percent.
    Results in the department store category were weaker than
anticipated, despite a standout performance from small operator
Stage Stores Inc. Same-store sales at apparel chains
topped expectations.
    The 3.6 percent rise excludes the impact of an 11.1 percent
drop in same-store sales at Walgreen Co, which suffered
from a now-resolved contract dispute.
    The monthly sales reports give a snapshot of consumer
spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the U.S.
economy. But they offer a limited view, as Wal-Mart Stores Inc
 and many other large retailers do not release monthly
data. On Thursday, Target said it would stop reporting monthly
sales next year.
    The Standard & Poor's retailing index rose 0.6
percent on Thursday, just ahead of the 0.5 percent gain for the
broad S&P 500. Among the retail stocks gaining were
Nordstrom Inc and Costco, which were both up nearly 1
percent. Losers included Kohl's, down 1.9 percent.
    Macy's Inc and Nordstrom posted same-store sales
increases that missed analysts' expectations, and the decline at
Kohl's was steeper than anticipated. 
    Stage Stores posted the largest jump in same-store sales
with an 11.1 percent rise, beating expectations by the widest
margin. The operator of chains such as Bealls and Goody's said
back-to-school sales had been strong at the beginning of the
month and that momentum had continued, resulting in "solid
full-price selling."
    Michael Niemira, chief economist at the International
Council of Shopping Centers, said he did not necessarily read
too much into the latest numbers, calling September "more of a
reactionary month."
    October could come in along the same lines as September or a
bit stronger, with same-store sales up 3.5 percent to 4.5
percent, excluding drugstores, Niemira said. 
    Target said it expected its October same-store sales to rise
in a low-to-mid single-digit percentage range, while Limited    
 Brands Inc, parent of Victoria's Secret, forecast an
increase in the low single digits.
    This year, October could be a lighter month than usual for
retailers, as the U.S. presidential debates and a heavy dose of
political advertising take center stage.
    "I don't think the holiday season will get off to as fast a
start as possibly years past because the airwaves are going to
be dominated with political ads," Rooney said. "It's going to be
harder to get your message out as a retailer."  
    Heading into the holiday season, chains have been carefully
controlling inventory levels and therefore may not have to
resort to clearance sales.
    Retailers are "focused on versatility and looking to stock
stores with product that consumers can wear for multiple uses,"
said Catherine Moellering, executive vice president at Tobe, a
retail and fashion consulting firm.
    Still, there are discounts.
    Carlos Escalera, a 29-year-old handyman from Harlem, said he
and the people he knows were planning to spend more this year,
but discounts remained a big draw.
    "There are more sales now," Escalera said as he shopped for
a hooded sweatshirt on Wednesday at the Macy's store in New
York's Herald Square. 
    He is waiting for Black Friday in late November, the
traditional start of the holiday season, for a big burst of
shopping, he said, and then he plans to spend again right before
    "I'm not nervous," he said. "The economy is doing better."

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