NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Retail stocks are off to a good start in September, as investors hope that fall will jump start some pent up demand.

The S&P Retail Index is gaining 3.2% to 409.31 in afternoon trading, ahead of tomorrow's August same-store sales results. Overall, the International Council of Shopping Centers is expecting total same-store sales to rise 3% for the month.

Notable gainers include Netflix ( NFLX), which is gaining 5.6% to $132.58, Abercrombie & Fitch ( ANF), which is jumping 5.1% to $36.36, Amazon ( AMZN), which is climbing 4.6% to $130.54, and OfficeMax ( OMX), which is surging 6.8% to $10.40.

Even American Apparel ( APP), which has been plagued by class action lawsuits related to mismanagement and misrepresentation of the company's finances, is surging 9.1% to 85 cents.

Saks ( SKS) is one of the few retailers in the red, giving up Tuesday's massive gains on rumors of a potential leverage buyout. According to reports the high-end department store may get a $1.7 billion bid from U.S. and U.K. private-equity firms.

U.K.'s Daily Mail said the consortium has almost completed due diligence on Saks and could table a cash bid worth $11 a share soon.

But Saks was downgraded on Wednesday by a J.P. Morgan analyst who said he is worried about the outlook for luxury spending over the next several months. Analyst Charles Grom cut the company to neutral from overweight and slashed his price target on the stock to $8.50 from $10.

As a result, shares of Saks are falling 5.9% to $7.44 in afternoon trading.

Charming Shoppes ( CHRS) is also tanking 13.4% to $2.92 after it said it swung to a loss in its second quarter. The plus-size apparel retailer lost $8.6 million, or 7 cents a share, compared with a profit of $5 million, or 4 cents, in the year-ago period. Analysts were calling for a profit of 6 cents a share.

Charming Shoppes sales fell 1.8% to $517.6 million from $527.2 million, while same-store sales rose 1%.

Borders ( BGP) is slightly down after it widened its second-quarter loss to $46.7 million, or 67 cents a share, compared with a loss of $45.6 million, or 76 cents, in the year-ago period for Borders. Sales dropped 12% to $526.1 million, while same-store sales declined 6.8%.

--Written by Jeanine Poggi in New York.

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