Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Consumers still bargain hunting

June 2, 2009

shopCheck out the expected weak May sales in the U.S. retail landscape.

Despite Memorial Day sales, warmer weather and deals such as $1 flip-flops, most U.S. retailers are expected to report declines in same-store sales in May as shoppers kept hunting for bargains in the recession.

Only eight of 30 retailers are expected to post growth in May sales at stores open at least a year when companies report results this week. Walgreen kicked things off with a 1 percent increase, but that was below what analysts had expected due to weaker-than-expected sales at its pharmacy counters.

May same-store sales are expected to fall 3.6 percent from a year earlier, when they rose 1.1 percent, according to Thomson Reuters’ revenue-weighted index of sales.

The data excludes Wal-Mart, as the world’s largest retailer stopped reporting monthly sales data with April results. Wal-Mart, one of the best-performing retailers during the recession, had held about 50 percent of the weighting in the monthly average.

There are signs, however, that the global recession may have bottomed out as an Ipsos/Reuters poll showed global consumer confidence is stabilizing after falling for 18 months.

Also in the basket:

Pepsi Bottling raises Q2, FY ’09 earnings view

Dollar General profit soars as shoppers seek value

Hhgregg Q4 profit up; FY view misses estimates

Retailers Feel Mixed Impact From Foreclosures (Wall Street Journal)

After the Recession, What Will Execs Do First? (WWD, subscription required)

(Reuters photo)

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