July Sales Slow

Searching for Pokémon Go creatures may have lured some potential shoppers into stores last month, but it probably didn’t translate into sales, said Wall Street analysts such as Ken Perkins, president of Retail Metrics Inc.

“July proved to be difficult for retailers as hot weather, record Amazon Prime Day sales, the distraction of the beach and the Pokémon Go craze weighed on sales,” he said.

Many specialty retailers reported declining sales during July. Perhaps most prominently, retail giant Gap Inc. posted a same-store decline of 4 percent. This after Gap reported a rare comp increase of 2 percent in June. Perkins noted that it was the only positive comp in the last 16 months for Gap.

Gap’s discount chain Old Navy posted flat same-store sales in July compared with its sibling Banana Republic Global division, which posted a 14 percent decline in July. The company’s namesake Gap Global division reported a decline a 4 percent during the month, said Sabrina Simmons, Gap Inc.’s chief financial officer.

“While performance varied during the quarter, we made progress on our streamlining initiatives and continued to see signs of improvement in our larger brands,” she said in a statement.

L Brands Inc., the parent company of Victoria’s Secret, showed a rare bright spot in the month. The company’s same-store sales increased 2 percent in July. Kearney, Neb.–headquartered The Buckle Inc. posted a same-sales decline of 10.9 percent. Zumiez Inc. reported a decline of 2.9 percent.