Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: July pain for retailers

August 6, 2009

Check out the continuing struggle in the retail world.USA/

U.S. retailers reported disappointing sales declines for July, suggesting shoppers are still searching for bargains and basics in the downturn.    

July’s results mark the 11th consecutive month of falling sales at stores open for at least one year, a measure known as same-store sales.

Rising unemployment, cool weather and a lack of tax-free holidays like those held last year disheartened shoppers, who bought just daily essentials last month.

Still, some companies like Gap and Macy’s managed to forecast better-than-expected earnings for the quarter, as they managed their expenses better.

But retailers’ true test?  September, according to one analyst.

“The true month to watch will be September because it will mark the first month that started the streak of negative same-store sales in 2008,” said Jharonne Martis, senior research analyst with Thomson Reuters.

Also in the basket:

Jeweler Finlay files for bankruptcy, to liquidate

Wendy’s/Arby’s post profit, sees better July trends

Macy’s sees second-quarter profit above Street, shares rise

What’s in a wool? The secret of Loro Piana – (WSJ, subscription required)

(Reuters photo)

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