September Sales Good


As of Thursday, October 5, 2017

September delivered good news to retailers, according to Kevin Perkins of market-research firm Retail Metrics.

Mall-based, action-sports retailer Zumiez Inc. reported a same-store-sales increase of 9.3 percent, which outpaced Retail Metric’s consensus that Zumiez’s same-store sales would only increase 2.9 percent in September.

L-Brands, the parent company for Victoria’s Secret and Bath and Body Works, posted a same-store-sales decline of 2 percent. Perkins said it was in line with company’s guidance. The company noted that the damage from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma knocked 1 percent off of L Brands’ total sales.

In an Oct. 4 note, Perkins said the consumer is in a good space, but people don’t shop like they did before the Great Recession.

“We see the consumer as being in the best shape they have been in since the Great Recession,” he wrote. “At the same time, the prolific spending baby boomer generation is retiring, spending less, and when spending, allocating increased resources to experiences and health care services and not to hard goods. Meanwhile, millennials who experienced the gut-wrenching pain of the financial crisis in their formative years have morphed into a more-prudent spending generation.”

For value retailer Cato Corp., September business continued a decline. It posted a 11 percent decline in same-store sales. In the previous month, it reported a 10 percent decline, said John Cato, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Cato.

“Negative sales trends continue to put severe pressure on merchandise margins and profitability as we continue to work through our merchandise missteps,” Cato said in a prepared statement. “It is taking longer to work through these issues than expected and we expect full-year earnings to be significantly below last year.”