Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: The hurt is spreading


TARGET/Check out the latest sales reports, which show that consumers are still cutting back on discretionary spending as they shift to discounters for the basics.  Granted, that’s not exactly news anymore, but some of this morning’s sales tell us that even the discounters are starting to feel the heat.

“Sales for the month of May were somewhat below our expectations,” chief executive officer of Target, Greg Steinhafel, said in a statement.

He’s not alone.

Big boxers such as Target and BJ’s Wholesale reported steeper than expected drops in same-store sales, suggesting that the recession may have depended further than the luxury market.

Speaking of which, upscale department stores, such as Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus, saw sales slip while Macy’s fared slightly better than analysts had expected.  Abercrombie & Fitch, known for their strong hold on the younger markets saw same-store sales slide 28 percent, worse than the decline analysts had expected.  And teen/tween sensation Hot Topic, saw same-store sales fall 6.4 percent which were, again, steeper than analysts had predicted.