Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Sales fall again

July 9, 2009

Check out the generally dismal sales in June, sprinkled with drops of hope.

rainy-us-openThe rain that hampered play at last month’s U.S. Open golf championship also pressured the retail industry.

Sales dropped at several U.S. chains as consumers stayed out of the rain and out of the stores.  Still, some of those focused on discounts once again reaped the rewards as those who did go out searched for deals.

TJX, which runs chains such as T.J. Maxx, raised its earnings outlook after sales at stores open at least a year rose 4 percent.  Analysts on average had expected those sales to fall 0.6 percent.

Maybe things are starting to pick up even at chains where sales fell, as companies find ways to trim costs.  Target, which said same-store sales fell 6.2 percent still said earnings should come in at or above Wall Street’s expectations.  Over at J.C. Penney, same-store sales fell 8.2 percent, but that was better than the company’s forecast for a 9 percent to 12 percent drop. J.C. Penney also raised its second quarter guidance.

Also in the basket:

Amazon cuts Kindle price to $299

SABMiller cuts target for Europe beer volume growth

Walgreen raises dividend

For Firstborns, Secondhand Fits the Bill (New York Times)

(Reuters photo)

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