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September 2, 2016

U.S. August Retail Sales Miss Estimate

by Jharonne Martis.

Retailers are hoping the back to school season lures shoppers into the stores, since August sales numbers were lackluster.

The Thomson Reuters Same Store Sales Index registered a -0.5% comp for August, missing its 0.5% earlier SSS estimate. However, these results are not final as Zumiez will report on September 8.There were more downward surprises in August than usual, and only one retailer posted a positive result.

L Brands came in on top with a 2.0% SSS results, above its 0.3% final estimate. The retailer received a boost from its Bath and Body Works division’s 7.0% SSS, while its Victoria Secret’s group posted a flat comp.

Meanwhile, Costco posted a weaker-than-expected 0.0% SSS. Excluding the negative impact from gasoline price deflation and foreign exchange currencies, this result increases to 2.0% SSS. Teen retailer The Buckle registered the weakest result in our retail universe at -14.8%, followed by Cato Corp.’s -8.0% SSS result. Gap registered a -3.0% SSS, weaker than expectations of 1.9% SSS.

August marks the first month of Q3 2016 and the outlook for the quarter is cautious. The Thomson Reuters Quarterly Same Store Sales Index, which consists of 80 retailers, is expected to post 1.0% growth for Q3 (vs. 1.4% in Q3 2015).

Exhibit 1.  Performance — Overall and Compared to Expectations


Source: I/B/E/S estimates

Exhibit 2.  Beat — Met — Missed

Greg graph

Source: I/B/E/S estimates

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