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Limited leads apparel retailers in August


New York City Sales-tax-free holidays and heavy discounting is being credited with lifting sales in August, with a majority of retailers reporting monthly sales results that topped analysts' estimates, according to Thomson Reuters. More than one-third of the states held sales tax holidays in August, including three large states that did not have this kind of event last year.

In the apparel segment, one of the best performances came from Limited Brands, which posted a 10% increase in same-store sales, far better than the 7.3% increase analysts had projected.

Sales at Abercrombie & Fitch jumped 6% in the month, beating estimates for a gain of 5.7%. The Wet Seal reported a 1.1% sales gain versus estimates for a 3.5% decline. Among the retailers who struggled in August were Hot Topic, which missed estimates with same-store sales falling 3.7%, and The Buckle, whose sales fell 3.5%.

In other apparel same-store sales results for August:

  •  Gap's sales figure held steady in August, helped by better results at its Banana Republic chain. Same-store sales in North American stores fell 1% at Gap, and 2% at Old Navy stores. But revenue climbed 6% at Banana Republic even as traffic remained flat, and rose 5% internationally with stronger results seen in Europe than in Japan.

  • Aeropostale’s sales fell 1% missing analysts' expectations of a 1.2% gain.

  • Zumiez reported a 9.1% rise in its sales. The August results marked the ninth consecutive month of positive same-store sales.

  • American Eagle Outfitters’ sales rose 1%. Analysts had expected the company's same-store sales to rise 1.1% for the month.

  • The Cato Corp.’s sales increased 2%.

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