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Gap, Macy’s July sales top estimates

Clothing retailer’s sales climb 10% while Bloomingdales owner posts 4.1% rise

Gulf News

New York: Gap Inc. and Macy’s Inc. posted July same-store sales that topped analysts’ estimates as promotions and warm weather boosted shopping traffic.

Sales at Gap, the biggest US specialty-apparel retailer, climbed 10 per cent, beating the average projection for a 3.8 per cent gain from analysts surveyed by researcher Retail Metrics Inc. Macy’s, the owner of its namesake and Bloomingdale’s department stores, posted a 4.1 per cent rise in same-store sales, topping the 2.5 per cent average estimate.

Warm weather and higher consumer sentiment than a year ago likely supported summer sales in July, which typically is used to make way for back-to-school merchandise, Erika Maschmeyer, an analyst with Robert W. Baird & Co. in Chicago, wrote in a note before the report. Researcher ShopperTrak estimates US retail traffic rose 7.4 per cent in July.

“Despite a tough economic environment, consumers are showing they’re tired of the recessionary spending mentality,” Alden Lury, a retail strategist at Kurt Salmon in New York, said in a telephone interview. “Signs are pretty positive across the board, and that bodes well for the holidays.”

Gap, based in San Francisco, rose 9.3 per cent to $32.16 at 10:03 a.m. in New York and earlier climbed as much as 11 percent for the biggest intraday gain since November 2008.

Gap reported second-quarter sales rose 5.6 per cent to $3.58 billion ( Dh13.15 billion), topping the $3.52 billion average of analysts’ estimates gathered by Bloomberg. The company said in a statement that profit for the period was as much as 48 cents, exceeding analysts’ 38-cent average estimate.

Macy’s gains

Macy’s, based in Cincinnati, jumped 4.4 per cent to $36.61 and earlier rose as much as 5.1 per cent for the biggest intraday increase since February 21. The company’s same-store sales rose 3 per cent in the second quarter.

“We will continue to gain market share by delivering fresh fashion, quality merchandise and great value for our customers,” Chief Executive Officer Terry Lundgren said in a statement today.

Limited Brands Inc., the operator of the Victoria’s Secret lingerie chain, posted a 12 per cent increase in same-store sales, topping the 6.2 per cent average estimate. The Columbus, Ohio-based retailer rose 1.9 per cent to $47.69.

Limited said in a statement that second-quarter profit excluding some items was as much as 48 cents a share, surpassing its forecast of as much as 45 cents and analysts’ 47-cent average estimate. The shares rose 1.5 percent to $47.52.

Ross stores

Ross Stores Inc. and TJX Cos. also reported July sales that beat estimates. Sales at both retailers of discounted designer merchandise rose 7 per cent in the month. Analysts estimated gains of 4.3 per cent at Pleasanton, California-based Ross and 5 percent at Framingham, Massachusetts-based TJX.

TJX said second-quarter profit was about 55 cents a share, topping analysts’ average estimate of 53 cents. The shares rose 1.8 per cent to $44.64.

Same-store sales for the more than 20 companies tracked by Swampscott, Massachusetts-based Retail Metrics were estimated to rise 1.4 per cent last month, following a 0.3 per cent increase in June, the firm said in a report. Full results will be available later today.

Most chains count locations open at least a year to tabulate same-store sales. The revenue is a key indicator of a retailer’s growth because new and closed sites are excluded.