It's a case of the lesser of the evils, but retail will take the good news wherever it can get it these days.
In a Monday, June 19, note Cowen & Co. reported that retail traffic in the U.S. declined 7.58% in the third week of June, compared to the previous week's 8.77% drop. Month to date, which would be Saturday, June 17, when the third week ended, retail traffic was down 8%, on track to slightly improve from May's total 8.9% traffic decline.
Surprisingly, given the amount of bankruptcies and store closures coming from the group, notably at major players like Sears Holdings Corp. (SHLD) and J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (JCP - Get Report) , Cowen analysts said apparel retailers have seen, so far in June, "consistently better traffic trends." Year to date, Cowen found that traffic at apparel retail has slipped 4%, while traffic at electronics retailers has fallen 19%.
In the third week of June, apparel retail traffic declined 1.65%, less than the 4.41% decrease recorded in the year-ago period. Meanwhile, wireless and electronics retail traffic plummeted 21.85% in the third week of June.
Last month, shares of GameStop Corp. (GME - Get Report) took a beating after it reported that its same-store sales in the U.S. fell 2.4% in its most-recent first quarter. In its fourth quarter, GameStop's comparable store sales slipped 16.3%. Year to date, GameStop's stock has shed 17.18% of its value.
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