Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: March sales slip

April 9, 2009

Check out the drop in sales at most retailers.

The results coming in show that things might not be so bleak after all.  Sure, some retailers still disappointed with March same-store sales down more than expected.  Take a look at American Eagle, whose same-store sales fell 16 percent, while analysts expected a 10.4 percent drop.  Still, the company raised the low end of its profit forecast since it marked down less merchandise.

TARGET/Over on the discount side, Wal-Mart’s same-store sales were only up 1.4 percent, while the Street expected them to rise 3.2 percent.  Still, they were up.  And they should be up again in April.  The CEO of smaller discounter Target, meanwhile, had this to say:

“Our guests continue to be cautious, but we have begun to see encouraging signs in the operating results of both of our business segments. In light of the Easter shift and recent trends, we expect our April reported comparable-store sales results to be essentially flat to last year.”

Are consumers finally out shopping again, and for more than just the basics?

Also in the basket:

U.S. jobless claims ease in latest week

Hot Topic March comps rise on “Twilight” DVD sales

Beauty on a Budget (NYT)

(Reuters photo)

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