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Retailers report solid sales gains for July
Retailers will get a better sense of how shoppers are spending during the back-to-school shopping season in August. So far, analysts and retail trade groups are sticking to their forecasts for the season, ranging from unchanged to 3 percent compared with a year ago. The National Retail Federation expects families to spend $603.63 on back-to-school items, from clothing to supplies, down slightly from last year’s $606.40.
But not every retailer posted encouraging results during the beginning of the back-to-school season. Gap said it had a 5 percent drop in revenue at stores opened at least a year in July, worse than the 0.7 percent decline that analysts had expected. Its namesake division, Old Navy and Banana Republic as well as its overseas business, all posted drops. Still, the retailer offered a profit outlook that was above Wall Street estimates because of improvements in inventory.
Department-store chain Kohl’s Corp. also posted disappointing results, with a 4.6 percent drop. That was well below the 3.4 percent gain that Wall Street analysts had expected. And teen retailer Aeropostale Inc. had a 14 percent drop in revenue at stores opened at least a year.
“We are very disappointed with our second-quarter financial results that were clearly unacceptable,” said Thomas P. Johnson, chief executive officer at Aeropostale in a statement.
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