Retailers, consumers and prices
Check Out Line: Polo earnings nothing to sneeze at
Check out consumer priorities.
U.S. shoppers may be buying fewer items at the drug store, but that’s not the case at clothing outlet stores.
Drugstore chain operator Walgreen Co posted weaker-than-expected sales for July, hurt by sales of less-expensive generic drugs and as people spent less than-expected on non-prescription items.
Polo Ralph Lauren, meanwhile, posted better-than-expected earnings. Its wholesale and Asian business helped. But so did sales at outlet stores, which rose 8 percent on a same-store basis.
Data still show the U.S. consumer is skittish about spending. Same-store sales, on average, are expected to rise 3.1 percent in July when major retailers (but not uber-major Wal-Mart) report later Wednesday and on Thursday. But that’s compared with a 5.1 percent decline a year earlier.
Retail is still not firing on all cylinders, but at least store owners are not crying anymore. That may mean they have to buy fewer tissues at Walgreens . Or, maybe they’re ready to replace the Polo shirts they ripped in anguish last year.
Also in the basket:
A coffee conundrum at Green Mountain (N.Y.Times)