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June sales get some help from promotions


Retail sales generally improved in June, helped by good weather and big discounts as retailers look to clear inventory for the back-to-school season.

Costco Wholesale Corp. reported a 6% increase in June same-store sales, helped by higher fuel prices. Its results topped Wall Street estimates.

Excluding the impact of foreign exchange rates and gasoline prices, Costco’s same-store sales increased 6% for the five-week period ended July 6. The metric rose 5% in the United States and 7% overseas.

Net sales rose 10% to $10.89 billion.

While the retailers that still report same-store sales were in line or slightly better than had been expected, there were exceptions. L Brands reported a 2% increase in June same-store sales, below estimates for a 3.1% increase. Growth was led by a 3% increase in sales for the company's Victoria's Secret brand

In other June results:

  • Zumiez reported a 3.1% rise in same-store sales. Net sales for June rose 11.1% to $65.3 million, from $58.8 million in the year-ago period.

  • Stein Mart’s same-store sales increased 2.6%. Total revenue for the five weeks ended July 5 rose 4% to $113.2 million.

  • The Buckle posted a 0.7% increase in same-store sales. Net sales for the period increased 2.8% to $84.8 million, from $82.5 million last year.

  • Fred’s same-store sales fell 0.6%. Total sales for the month increased 2% to $191.2 million, from $187.3 million last year.

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