May Sales Beat Forecasts

May retail sales results beat forecasts, said Ken Perkins of Retail Metrics, a market-research firm.

U.S. retail sales increased 10.9 percent, according to Retail Metrics. He forecasted that it would increase 7.1 percent.

“May comparable-store sales advanced a better-than-expected 10.9 percent, aided by much better weather conditions and a robust labor market that released pent-up demand for seasonal merchandise and fueled consumer spending,” Perkins wrote in a June 7 note.

Retailers followed by California Apparel News reported solid sales increases across the board. Long-suffering retailers such as The Buckle Inc. and Cato Corp posted gains. The Buckle reported a 3.6 percent increase in same-store sales. Cato reported a 9 percent increase, said John Cato, the company’s chairman, president and chief executive officer.

“May same-store stores significantly exceeded our expectations,” Cato said.

L Brands Inc., the parent company for Victoria’s Secret, posted a 5 percent gain in same-store sales. Zumiez Inc., a mall retailer for action-sports brands, posted same-store sales that increased 7.5 percent.

Consumers felt more bullish about the economy in May, said Lynn Franco, the director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. The nonprofit research group charts movement in consumer sentiment.

“Consumer confidence increased in May after a modest decline in April,” Franco said. “Consumers’ assessment of current conditions increased to a 17-year high.” The last time consumer sentiment was this high was in March 2001.

Those surveyed who claimed business conditions are “good” increased from 34.8 percent to 38.4 percent. Those claiming business conditions are “bad” decreased from 12.3 percent to 12 percent, Franco said.

On June 7, San Francisco–headquartered Stitch Fix Inc. announced results for the third quarter of its 2018 fiscal year. The online personal styling service earned a net revenue of $316.7 million, which was a 29 percent increase over the same period in the previous year.