A slew of the nation's retailers issued fairly unimpressive same-store sales data for August, and overall, the sector was weaker following the monthly reports.
, the world's biggest company, said sales at stores open at least a year came in below expectations, citing unusually warm weather. The company posted a 3.8% gain in August same-store sales, below its forecast for 4% to 6% growth.
Same-store sales at its Wal-Mart division climbed 4.3%, while Sam's Club posted a modest 1.1% gain.
Federated Department Stores
, which operates Macy's and Bloomingdale's, said same-store sales fell 5.8% in the four weeks ended Aug. 31. Total sales for the month dropped 3.8% to $1.1 billion from $1.3 billion last year.
"We obviously were disappointed with our August sales performance," the company said. "However, we did see some improvement in sales trends during the last two weeks of the month, including the Labor Day weekend, which gives us encouragement for achieving our plan of a 1% to 3% same-store sales increase for the fall season."
Consumer electronics chain
said its second-quarter comparable-store sales rose 2% as overall weakness in the economy contributed to sluggish demand for its home entertainment products.
In August the company lowered its outlook for the second time in two months, saying it wouldn't meet its target of 4% to 5% sales growth. But Best Buy did say total sales for the second quarter jumped 20% to $5 billion thanks to the addition of 76 new store locations.
reported a 2% decline in August same-store sales, its 29th straight month of lower sales. The company, which operates Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic, said total sales for the week ended Aug. 31 rose 6% to $1.16 billion from the same period a year ago.
Home furnishing retailer
Pier 1 Imports
said sales at stores open at least a year rose 8.6% as a result of strong sales of regular-priced and promotional items. The strong results prompted the company to raise its second-quarter earnings forecast to 23 cents a share from a previous estimate of 20 cents to 21 cents. The company reports earnings Sept. 17th.
Children's apparel chain
said its same-store sales increased 3%, and the company expects third-quarter sales to rise in the low single digits. The company remains comfortable with its outlook for the next two quarters, projecting a profit of 13 cents to 15 cents a share, and 38 cents to 40 cents, respectively.
Teen apparel and music merchant
posted a 5.3% gain in August same-store sales. Net sales increased 32% to $46.8 million from $35.4 million for August 2001.
On the whole, the retail sector was lower. The S&P Retail Index was down 1.3%.