With the eyes of the world -- or at least the financial world -- upon them,
BJ's Wholesale Club
failed to deliver the results today that might have bolstered hopes of a turnaround.
As the only three retailers left in the discount space reporting May same-store sales today, all missed analysts' expectations.
Costco's comparable sales tumbled 7%, shy of analysts' expectations of a 6.4% decline. The company said it was hurt by the stronger dollar and declining gas prices.
Its strongest categories were in basic household necessities such as food products, but, as expected, the company experienced softness in discretionary items.
Target tumbled 6.1%, a much steeper decline than the 4.3% decrease forecast by analysts.
Like Costco, the company saw strength in non-discretionary items such as health care and food. Sales were down in the high single-digits in apparel and low double digits in home. Target also saw weakness in music, movies and books.
BJ's sales sank 6.8%, weighed down by lower gasoline prices. Analysts expected a 4.4% decline.
The company saw continued weakness in apparel, jewelry and sporting goods. It also noted the negative impact in the price deflation of certain foods, which was a drag on sales.
Shares of Costco fell 3% to $47.02 in afternoon trading, while Target slid 2.2% to $40.70 and BJ's dropped 4% to $33.59.
announced that it will no longer report monthly sales data. The company has been a harbinger of the economic climate and one of the few retailers to continuously calm investors with decent-to-strong numbers.
Of all the sectors, analysts have been most bullish on discounters, as consumers trade down to save on basic household goods. Given that Target, Costco and BJ's rely heavily on non-essentials such as apparel and electronics, it's not surprising both missed expectations.
Not surprising -- but also not so comforting.
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