Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Easter bounce

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Check out how high March retail sales bounced off last year’s weak results — and how April sales are expected to falter.

bunnyMarch same-store sales topped expectations for retailers ranging from teen-focused stores to discounters and department stores, helped by an early Easter, warmer weather and a recovering job market.

But some retail executives rained on the parade, saying that some consumers had shifted their shopping into March due to the earlier timing of the holiday and that sales in April could suffer. 

“March was a very solid month, but I think there’s more than enough hints that the American consumer is still fully not back,” said Brean Murray, Carret & Co analyst Eric Beder. “We’re going to see, barring a miracle, materially weaker numbers for April.”

Check Out Line:Teen retailers’ painful holiday

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ABERCROMBIECheck out how teen retailers have miscalculated demand this holiday season and are resorting to steep discounts to get savvy young shoppers into their stores.

A visit this week to a Bay Area mall by Reuters reporter Alexandria Sage found that teen retailers such as American Eagle as well as Abercrombie & Fitch and its Hollister chain, have been reduced to slashing prices and offering “buy one, get one for half off” promos to salvage a holiday season that was supposed to be merrier than last year.

Check Out Line: How will September sales look?

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Check out one analyst’s view on September sales for some retailers.USA-HOLIDAYSALES/

Sales for the month of September may have gotten off to a strong start for some retailers thanks to the Labor Day holiday and schools opening in the beginning of the month, but likely lost some steam after that, according to a note from Barclays Capital analyst Jeff Black.

Black’s coverage includes teen retailers and off-price store operators such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Aeropostale, American Eagle Outfitters, Gap Inc, TJX Cos and Ross Stores.

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