Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: July pain for retailers


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.

Check Out Line: The extreme weather in July


Check out the chilly, wet weather continuing into July.

umbrella1Last month, retailers weathered the second-coolest June in 10 years, with record rainfall in cities like New York, Boston and Chicago, according to weather research firm Planalytics.

That put a lid on shopper demand for short shorts and tank tops, hurting June sales results.