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Retailers Post Mixed August Same-Store Sales (Update 1)

Stocks in this article: COST LTD APP BKE

L Brands (LTD), the parent company to Victoria's Secret, Bath & Body Works and La Senza, posted comparable-store sales that fell just short of expectations, up 2% vs. the 2.2% analysts expected, according to Thomson Reuters.

L Brands' net sales for the four weeks ended Aug. 31 rose 5.8% to $704.7 million vs. the 2012 four-week period that ended on Aug. 25, 2012.

Comparable sales at both Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works fell on a year-over-year basis, while sales at La Senza rose 8% vs. flat in the comparable period.

Shares fell 2.1% to $56.90.

American Apparel (APP) said net sales slipped 1% last month, to $55.7 million. Comparable sales in August rose 3%, fueled by an 11% increase in online sales, but far below the 22% jump in August 2012. Retail store sales rose 2% in the month, while wholesale dropped 6%, the company said.

"The 3% comparable sales increase in August is particularly meaningful given that we faced a 25% increase in August last year," said Dov Charney, American Apparel's chairman and CEO, in a statement. "We also believe the decrease in estimated wholesale net sales was primarily a timing difference in the placement of month-end customer orders and we expect a return to positive sales growth for the wholesale segment in September."

American Apparel reiterated its difficulties in switching over to a new distribution center in California, but that it is making progress.

"Among other things, we have substantially fixed integration issues with information systems, strengthened our training efforts and made necessary personnel changes. We are beginning to see light at the end of this tunnel. That being said, in the event there are further integration issues or if there are systems related disruptions in the future, we will most likely incur additional unanticipated costs and reduced sales," Chief Financial Officer John Luttrell said in a statement.

American Apparel shares closed flat to finish the day at $1.40.

August same-store sales growth at The Buckle (BKE) rose 1%, above estimates of 0.4% growth.

Net sales for the four-week period ended Aug. 31 increased just 0.3% to $101.1 million vs. the prior-year fiscal month ended Aug. 25, 2012.

Share fell 1.2% to $51.70.

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

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Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.
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