Journalist, New York
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Aug 22, 2013

Abercrombie & Fitch same-store sales plummet, outlook weak

By Phil Wahba

(Reuters) – Abercrombie & Fitch Co (ANF.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) reported comparable sales and profit far below Wall Street expectations on Thursday, blaming a drop in store visits by shoppers, and the teen retailer said business will decline even more during the current back-to-school quarter.

The company said comparable sales, which include online sales and sales at stores open at least a year, fell 10 percent in the second quarter, ended August 3. Analysts had expected a drop of just 2.5 percent.

Aug 22, 2013

Analysis: New tastes, nimble fashion rivals squeeze top U.S. teen chains

By Phil Wahba and Dhanya Skariachan

(Reuters) – Abercrombie & Fitch Co (ANF.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Aeropostale Inc (ARO.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and American Eagle Outfitters Inc (AEO.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) have fallen out of fashion with fickle U.S. teen shoppers and aren’t likely to win back their business anytime soon.

The retailers, known as the “3As,” have long been popular for their cool basics like jeans, hoodies and t-shirts. But young shoppers are now less interested in their logo-centric clothes and more eager to shop for electronics or go to low-cost, fast-fashion chains like Zara, Forever 21 and H&M that offer greater variety more quickly.

Aug 21, 2013

American Eagle issues weak forecast on price pressure

By Phil Wahba

(Reuters) – American Eagle Outfitters Inc (AEO.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the teen apparel retailer, forecast weak sales and profits for the back-to-school quarter on Wednesday, and said the promotional environment that forced it to slash prices this summer was persisting.

Shares fell as low as $14.40, their lowest since March 2012. They were down 9 percent at $14.87 in late-morning trading.

Aug 20, 2013

Barnes & Noble chairman halts plan to buy stores as sales slide

By Jessica Wohl and Phil Wahba

(Reuters) – Barnes & Noble Inc’s founder and largest shareholder on Tuesday suspended his plan to buy the bookseller’s stores, dashing investor hopes for a deal as the company again reported poor quarterly results.

B&N shares fell 15 percent to $14.17, their lowest level since February, when Leonard Riggio, who is also chairman, said he planned to make an offer for B&N’s retail business.

Aug 20, 2013

Penney sales tumble but back-to-school ‘encouraging’ so far

By Phil Wahba

(Reuters) – J.C. Penney Co Inc (JCP.N: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Tuesday quarterly sales tumbled again last quarter, even as reinstated CEO Myron Ullman worked to roll back his predecessor’s failed merchandising strategies, but there were signs that customers were returning for the back-to-school season.

The company, which reported another steeper-than-expected loss, said sales trends improved every month in the quarter and that business so far this back-to-school period, the second-most important for Penney after the holidays, was “encouraging.”

Aug 20, 2013

Penney sales stumble but back-to-school up and running

By Phil Wahba

(Reuters) – J.C. Penney Co Inc’s (JCP.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) sales continued to fall sharply last quarter as shoppers balked at the fancier items in its relaunched home-goods section, but there were signs the retailer was winning back customers this back-to-school season.

The company on Tuesday said sales trend had improved every month in the quarter and said business so far this back-to-school period, the second-most important for Penney after the holidays, was “encouraging.”

Aug 16, 2013

Analysis: U.S. retailers say uneven recovery keeps consumers cautious

By Phil Wahba and Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) – From Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Gap Inc to Macy’s Inc and McDonald’s Corp, chains that cater to middle- and lower-income Americans say they are feeling the pinch of an uneven economic recovery.

A host of retailers have reported tepid sales lately, highlighting the stress that consumers are feeling because of higher payroll taxes, expensive gasoline and a slow job market four years after the U.S. economy started to rebound.

Aug 15, 2013

Wal-Mart sales disappoint as shoppers worldwide curb spending

By Phil Wahba

(Reuters) – Wal-Mart Stores Inc posted disappointing quarterly sales on Thursday after shoppers worldwide proved cautious, prompting the discount retailer to lower its revenue and profit forecasts for the year.

“The retail environment was challenging across all of our markets,” Chief Executive Officer Mike Duke said in a recording. Shares of Wal-Mart fell 2.5 percent to $74.50 in premarket trading.

Aug 14, 2013

Macy’s sales fall as middle-class consumers remain cautious

By Phil Wahba

(Reuters) – Macy’s Inc (M.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Wednesday reported an unexpected decline in sales and blamed consumers’ hesitation to spend on non-essentials, leading to deeper markdowns and a disappointing profit.

Its shares fell about 4.1 percent, or $2.02, to $46.45 in early trading.

The retailer said comparable sales and overall sales slid 0.8 percent in the second quarter. Analysts expected comparable sales to rise 2.3 percent, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Aug 14, 2013

JCPenney focus turns to holiday prospects as Ackman drama ebbs

By Phil Wahba and Dhanya Skariachan

(Reuters) – Now that activist investor William Ackman has stepped down after a week-long public spat with fellow board members at J.C. Penney Co Inc (JCP.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), all eyes are back on whether the department store chain can avert a potentially disastrous sales decline this holiday season.

Next Tuesday, the retailer is expected to report a 7.4 percent decline in second-quarter same-store sales, thanks largely to the lingering effect of former CEO Ron Johnson’s failed no-discounting strategy, which caused many of Penney’s traditional middle-class customers to desert the store group. Its sales fell 25 percent in 2012.

    • About Phil

      "Phil Wahba joined Reuters in 2008 and has covered the exchanges, equity capital markets (IPOs), corporate bankruptcies and now covers retailers such as department stores and booksellers."
      Joined Reuters:
      2008
      Languages:
      English, French, Spanish, German and Danish.
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